New Mexico judge demands Quorum Health pay patient $2.3M after botched bone cement spinal treatment: 6 takeaways

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | February 12, 2018 | Print  | Email

A New Mexico bankruptcy judge ordered Quorum Health Resources of Tennessee to pay an Alamogordo, N.M.-based Gerald Champion Regional Hospital patient $2.3 million after a failed bone cement spinal procedure, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Here are six takeaways:


1. The judge awarded another three patients $10 million in damages after finding Quorum Health failed to prevent harm to patients at Alamogordo-based Gerald Champion Regional Hospital from 2007 to 2008.


2. Additional patients are awaiting trial for botched bone cement treatments. Quorum is arguing the pain, numbness, weakness and debilitating systems are due to prior back problems.


3. Investigators discovered Quorum's CEO at Gerald Champion Regional Hospital was warned by outside physicians the bone cement treatments were not safe and that Christian Schlicht, MD, the creator, was not qualified to perform the procedures.


4. While Dr. Schlicht resigned in 2008 following malpractice disputes, physicians at the hospital continued to perform the procedures. Frank Bryant, MD, is the other surgeon who promoted the bone cement treatment.


5. Drs. Schlicht and Bryant built up 80 malpractice claims, forcing the hospital to seek bankruptcy court protection in 2011. A settlement with the physicians the hospital totaled $33 million. However, Quorum has spent the past seven years resisting the settlement cases.


6. The New Mexico judge found the hospital's management firm 16.5 percent at fault due to negligence.


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