Case: Mark W. Bush, et. al. v. William Dixon, M.D., et. al.
Verdict: $2 .35 Million
By: William F. McMurry
From The Kentucky Trial Court Review
Facts: The Plaintiff was overcome by carbon monoxide on June 10, 1993, while operating a forklift for his employer, Advanced Distribution Services (ADS). Plaintiff and other employees had experienced dizziness, headaches, and other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in the three days leading up to Plaintiff's acute exposure which culminated in Plaintiff being transported to Methodist Hospital via EMS. There was conflicting testimony as to whether Plaintiff lost consciousness at work and as to whether he reported a history of loss of consciousness. Defendant, William Dixon, the emergency room physician, diagnosed carbon monoxide poisoning. It was alleged that the standard of care required that all patients who had a history of a loss of consciousness receive 100% oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber. The Defendant and his experts denied that the standard of care required hyperbaric oxygen. Defendant treated Plaintiff with 100% oxygen via mask and recommended that Plaintiff be admitted to the hospital for observation. Plaintiff did not want to be admitted and, as a compromise, agreed to stay in the emergency room for five hours while breathing 100% oxygen, in an effort to bring his carboxyhemoglobin level down to a normal range. Defendant did not recommend treatment in a hyperbaric chamber because Defendant testified that Plaintiff had denied having lost consciousness. Plaintiff, who had exposure to carbon monoxide for more than 17 years while working as a warehouseman, later developed Parkinson's disease and was rendered totally and permanently disabled from any gainful employment.
The Plaintiff's employer was brought in as a Defendant in the case by Dr. Dixon. Dr. Dixon claimed that the employer should share the responsibility for Mark's injuries. The jury verdict apportioned 75 percent of the fault to the Plaintiff's employer and 25 percent of the fault to Dr. Dixon.
Nature of Injury:
Carbon monoxide-induced Parkinson's disease
Details of Verdict:
Past Medical Expenses: $26, 269.51
Future Medical Expenses: $139,651.17
Lost Wages: $134,680
Impairment/Destruction Of Earning Capacity: $700,336
Pain & Suffering: $1,000,000
Wife's consortium claim: $500,000