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Date: 07-09-2012

Case Style: John Burckhalter v. Steven C. Anagnost, M.D.

Case Number: CJ-2011-5014

Judge: Carlos Chappelle

Court: District Court, Tulsa County, Oklahoma

Plaintiff's Attorney: Roger A. Johnson, Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci, Joplin, Missouri

Defendant's Attorney: Sean Howard McKee, David D. Wilson and Steven W. Simcoe, Best & Sharp, Tulsa, Oklahoma for Steven C. Anagost, M.D. and Spine & Orthopedic Institute

Stephen Michael Coates, Wilson, Cain & Acquaviva, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Elizabeth K. Hall and Brandon E. Whitworth, Rodolf Todd, P.C., Tulsa, Oklahoma for AHS Hillcrest Medical Center, LLC

Description: John Burckhalter sued Steven C. Anagnost, M.D., Spine & Orthopedic Institute, AHS Hillcrest Medical Center, LLC and Dustin Wayne Schmucher on medical negligence (medical malpractice) theories.

COME NOW Plaintiffs John Burckhalter and Saflye Burckhalter, by and through their attorney Roger Johnson of the law firm JOHNSON, VORHEES & MARTUCCL and for their cause of ac’tioa against Defendants Steven C. Anagnost, MD., The Spine & Oithopedic Institute, AIlS Hillcrest Medkal Center, LLC, and Dusth Wayne Sebmueher state and allege as follows:

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

1. That tEe Plaintiffs, John BurckhaIte and Sallye Burckhalter, are lawfi.ilIy wedded husband and wife residing in Vinita, Olclaliom&

2, At all times relevant herein, Defendant Steven C. Anagmost, M.D., Qaereafter “Dr. Asiagnost”) was a physician who represented himself to the public in general and to plaintiffs in particular as a surgeon capable of providing medical care and treatment for patients with physical problems like those that John Eurckhalter was experieneinB in October, 2010. Defendant Anagnost can be served at Ms place of employment with The Spine and Orthopedic Institute at their office address located at 9709 E. 79th Street South, Tulsa, OK 74133.

3. Defendant The Spine & Orthopedic Institute (hereinafter uspineI), is a corporation organized and operated under the laws of the State of Oklahoma, with offices and agents and its principal place of business in Tulsa, Oklahoma At all dines relevant herein, Defendant Dr. Atiagnost was an employee or agent of Defendant The Spine & Orthopedic histkute, and the actions in connection with the care and treatment of Plaintiff Iolm flurckhalter were within the course and scope of employment, thereby triggering the doctrine of vicarious liability.

4. Defendant ABS Hillcrest Medical Center, LLC (hereinafter “Hillcrest’ is a forei corporation authorized to do business in Oklahoma, operating as a medical facility, Hillcrest Medical Center, in Tulsa, Oklahom& At all times relevant herein, Defendant Hillcrest had canted Defendant Or. Anagnost staff privileges allowing him to perform surgeries at their facility. Service may be obtained on Defendant Hillcrest through their registered agent, Corporation Sence Company, 115 SW 89th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73139.

5. Defendant Dust Wayne Scbntucher (hereinafter “Selamuchef’) was at all times relevant herein a resident of Chelsea, OK. Service may be obtained on Defendant Sobmucher athis home address, 196S2 B. 380 Road, Chelsea, OK 74016,

6. Claims of motor vehicle negligenceatise from tortIous conduct occurring in Craig County, OK. Claims of medical negligence arise from tortious conduct occurring in Tulsa County, thereby making venue and jurisdiction appropriate for this Court.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

7. On or about April 16,2010, Plaintiff John Burckhalter was involved in a motor vehicle accident with Defendant Schmucher, said accident causing injury to Plaintiff Join Burckhalter’s neck and back.

8. On Or about October 12, 2010, Plaintiff Join Burckhalter presented to Defendant Anagnosts office at The Spine and Orthopedic Institute with complaints of back pain and some neck discomfort. Subsequently, Defendant Mawiost began treating Plaintiff John Bnrckhaiter with steroidal injections for the pain.

9. Defendant Anagnost instructed Plaintiff John Eurckhalter to dlseentue the nti-coagulant Coumadin for fourteen (14) days.

10. Defendant Dr. Anagnost requested and received a Cardiac Clearance letter from Plaintiff John Burckhalter’s cardiologist, Craig Cameron, MD. Dr. Cameran gave clearance for John Burekinalter to have the surgery that Dr. Anagnost xecomnended, but staled in his note to Defendant Anagnost that the risk of holding Plaintiff John Burekhaiter’s Coumadin for fourleen (14) days was not acceptable. Dr. Cameron directed that the Cournadin could be held for three to five (3-5) days alter which time Plaintiff John Burckhalter’s INR was to be rethecked.

11. Defendant Dr. Anagnost did not advise his patient that the cardiac, clearance to be off Coumadin was only for 3-5 days, of the need for an NR, or of the risks to him if he was off the Cournadin for 14 days against the advice of his cardiologist.


12, Defendant Dr. Anagnost negligently failed to follow the instructions provided by Dr. Cameron pertaining to the duration that Coumadin could be withheld and rechecking Plaintiff John Burelthalter’s INR. Defendant Anagnost negligently instructed Plaintiff John Burckhalter to remain off his Couznad’m for fourteen (14) days and negligently failed to recheck Plaintiff John Burekhalter’s INR in the Three to five day period or at any time prior to the events that happened on December 12, 2010.

13. On December 12,2010, Plaintiff John Bureldialter suffered an acute and permanently debilitating stroke,

COUNT I

MEDICAL NEGUGENç

(Against Defendants Anagnost and Spine only)

14. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference paragraphs 1-13 as if stated wholly herein.

15. Defendant Dr. Anagnost’s negligent medical care caused or contvibuted to cause iruiy to Plaintiff John Tharckhalter.

16. Defendant Spine is vicariously and separately liable to Plaintiffs.

17. Defendant Spine knew or should have known that Defendant Anagnost engaged in a pattern of incompetent behavior.

18. Defendant Spine knew or should have known that Defendant Anagnost had numerous patient complaints and multiple lawsuits, because of his poor, unsafe below standard surgical care where many patients bad suffered injury.

19. Despite this knowledge Defendant Spine negligently failed to supervise Defendant Anagnost and failed to take other reasonable steps to ensue the safety of its patient John Burckhalter.

20. Defendant Anagnost’s and Defendant Spine’s conscious choices and decisions were unsafe, directly and ptoximately caused needless harm to their patient, and wete nwk when safer choices existed that would have prevented the harm.

21. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendants, Plaintiff John Burckhàlter has and. will sustain substantial medical expenses and pennaneney of lujury, has and will suffer emotional and physical pain and suffering, has and will suffer loss of income and earnings capability, has suffered irreversible damage to his body, has and will lose quality and enjoyment of life.

22. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendants, Plaintiff Saflye Bwckhalter has lost consortium and companionship other husband.

WHEREFOE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendants, for damages in an amount in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00), attorney fees, court costs, interest and any other relief the Court finds equitable and just.

24. Dthndant Hillcrest granted Defendant Anagnost surgical privileges at their facthty

25. Defendant Hlllereat knew ot should have known that Defendant Anagnost had engaged in a pattern of incompetent and/or msafe belavior in his care and treafinent of his patients.

26. Defendant Hillcrest knew or should have known that Defendant Anagnost had numerous patient complaints and multiple lawsuits, because of his poor, unsafe below standard surgical care vthere many patients had suffered permanent injuries.

27. Defendant Hillcrest negligently failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their patient Plaintiff John Burkhalter.

28. Defendant Hillcrest negligently failed to appropriately investigate the numerous complaints against Defendant Anagnost to determine whether it was safe for him to practice surgical medicine at the Hillcrest fhcility.

29. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendants, Plaintiff John Burckhalter has and will sustain substantial medical expenses and permanency of injury, has and wiU suffer emotional and physical pain aixi suffering, has and will suffer loss of income aAd earnings capability, has suffered irreversible damage to his body, has and will lose quality and enjoyment of life.

30. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendants, Plaintiff Sallye Burckhalter has lost consortium and companionship of her husband.


COUNT II

NEGLIGENT CREDENTTALING

(Against Defendant Hillcrest Only)

23. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference paragraphs 1-22 as if set forth wholly herein.

WEERREORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendants, for damages in an amount in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00), attorney fees, court costs, interest and any other relief the Court finds equitable and Just.

COUNT Ill

General Negligence

(Against Defendant Schmueher Only)

31. PlaintilTh icorporate by reference paragraphs 1-30 as if set forth wholly herein.

32. On or aboutApril 16,2010, Plaintiff John Burckhalter was northbound on state highway 2 and slowed r cause and stopped while following another vehicle that was also northbound on state.highway 2 that bad slowed for cause and stopped.

33. That at the same time, Defendant Selimucher was traveling northbound on state highway 2 when he tilled to stop causing his vehicle to violently collide with the rear of the vehicle being driven by Plaintiff John Burckhalter, causing Plaintiff John Burelihalter’s vehicle to then collide with the teas of the vehicle that he was following.

34. The collision and subsequent injuries to Plaintiff John Eurckhalter were the direct and proximate result of Defendant Schniucher’s carelessness and negligence by allowing his vehicle to collide with the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff John Burekhalter, following too closely, driving at an excessive rate of speed, failing to be attentive to his drlvg, failing to keep a proper lookout, failure to obey Iraffic jaws, and failing to keep his vehicle under proper control

35, As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendant Sobmucher, Plaintiff John Burckhalter has and will sustain substantial • medical expenses and permanency of injury, has and will suffer emotional and physical pain and suffering, has and will suffer loss of income and earnings capability, has suffered nTeversible damage to his body, has and will lose quality and enjoyment of life.

36. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness, negligence and faults of Defendant Schmucher, Plaintiff Sallye Burckhalter has lost consortium and companionship of her husband.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendant Schmucher, for damages in an amount in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00), attorney fees, court costs, interest and any other relief the Court finds equitable and just.


ANSWER OF DEFENDANT THE SPINE & ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE TO PLAINTIFFS’ FIRST AMENDED PETITION

COMES NOW Defendant The Spine & Orthopedic Institute, and for its Answer to the First Amended Petition of the Plaintiffs as filed herein, alleges and states as follows:

I.

This Defendant denies both generally and specifically each and every material ai1gation contained in Plaintiffs’ Petition, and demands strict proof thereof by preponderance ofthe eiience, except as set forth otherwise herein below.

I. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit rdeny

C

The matters asserted in paragraph numbered I of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and thefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

2. This Defendant admits the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 2 of PlainrfncN First Amended Petition to the extent that Plaintiffs’ reference to “physical problems like those\that John Burckhalter was experiencing in October, 2010” is intended to refer solely to orthopedic problems.

3. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 3 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

4. With respect to the matters asserted in paragraph 4 of Plaintiffs’ Petition, this Defendant admits that, at all relevant times, Defendant Hillcrest Medical Center had granted him staff privileges allowing him to perform surgeries at its facilities. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the remaining matters asserted in paragraph numbered 4 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

5. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 5 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

6. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to eitheradmit ordeny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 6 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof

7. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 7 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

8. This Defendant admits the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 8 of Plaintiffs’ Petition.

9. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 9 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

10. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 10 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

11. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 11 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

12. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 12 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

13. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbcrcd 13 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof

14. Paragraph numbered 14 ofPlaintiffs’ First Amended Petition contains no substantive allegations and therefore no response is required of this Defendant. To the extent paragraph numbered 14 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition is deemed to contain substantive allegations, this Defendant adopts and incorporates its previous responses to the allegations referenced therein.

15. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 15 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

16. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 16 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

17. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 17 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

18. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 18 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

19. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered I 9 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

20. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 20 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

21. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 21 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

22. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 22 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

23. Paragraph numbered 23 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition contains no substantive allegations and therefore no response is required of this Defendant. To the extent paragraph numbered 23 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition is deemed to contain substantive allegations, this Defendant adopts and incorporates its previous responses to the allegations referenced therein.

24. This Defendant admits the allegations contained in paragraph numbered 24 of Plaintiffs’ Petition.

25. This Defendant specifIcally denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 25 of P1aintiffs First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

26. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 26 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

27. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 27 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

28. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 28 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof

29. This Defendant specif ically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 29 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

30. This Defendant specifically denies the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 30 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and demands strict proof thereof.

31. Paragraph numbered 31 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition contains no substantive allegations and therefore no response is required of this Defendant. To the extent paragraph numbered 31 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition is deemed to contain substantive allegations, this Defendant adopts and incorporates its previous responses to the allegations referenced therein.

32. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 32 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof

33. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 33 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

34. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 34 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof

35. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 35 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof.

36. This Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to either admit or deny the matters asserted in paragraph numbered 36 of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition and therefore denies same and demands strict proof thereof

II.

By way of affirmative defense, this Defendant would allege and state as follows:

1. This Defendant alleges that any injuries and damages complained of in Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition are the proximal result of the physical condition, anatomy and physiology of Plaintiff John Burckhalter and any injuries or damages which the Plaintiffs may have sustained were not the result of any acts or omissions on the part of this Defendant,

2 For further defense, this Defendant alleges that any damages allegedly suffered by PlainiilTh were caused by a pre-existing or post-developing medical condition of PlainlilT John Burckhalter for which this Defendant is not responsible.

3. That at all times material herein, this Defendant rendered reasonable and appropriate care to Plaintiff John Burckhalter commensurate with recognized standards.

4. Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

5. Imposition of punitive damages upon this Defendant would violate its rights under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions.

Ill.

This Defendant denies that it is guilty of any type of professional negligence.

IV.

This Defendant specifically reserves the right to amend its answer to Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition to include additional general or affirmative defenses upon the completion of discovery.

WHEREFORE, having fully answered the First Amended Petition of the Plaintiffs on file herein, Defendant The Spine & Orthopedic Institute prays that Plaintiffs take nothing by way oftheir First Amended Petition and that this Defendant be dismissed from this action together with all costs, attorney fees, and other such relief the Court dccms just and equitable.


Outcome: Dismissed with prejudice as to Dustin Wayne Schmucher. AHS Hillcrest Medical Center dismissed without prejudice on April 12, 2012.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

Comments:



 
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