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Date: 03-30-2000

Case Style: Betty Carolyn Morava, et al. v. Central Oklahoma Medical Group, et al.

Case Number: CJ-93-3257

Judge: Daniel L. Owens

Court: District Court, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma

Plaintiff's Attorney: Howard K. Berry, Jr. of Berry and Berry, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Shannon Emmons of Manchester & Pignato, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Defendant's Attorney: Benjamin J. Butts of Short Wiggins Margo & Butts, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Description: Medical Malpractice - Wrongful Death - Plaintiff's husband, David Morava suffered a heart attck in 1991 at the age of 48. The cardiologist who treated Mr. Morava while he was hospitalized recommended that decedent undergo a heart transplant. At the time, Mr. Morava was insured by PruCare HMO. Central Oklahoma Medical Group ("COMG") was the contracted medical group for PruCare. when Mr. Morava was released from the hospital, he returned to his primary care physician at COMG and requested a referral to either a cordiologists or a heart transplant facility. The primary care physician, Dr. Earlene Posselt, refused to refer him to a cardiologist and did not request a referral to a heart transplant facility for over three months. The primary care physician's request for referral was denied by the COMG Medical Director, who was also acting as the medical Director for PruCare. Prudential's regional Medical Director later overturned the denial and approved the request and authorized the referral to Baylor Medical Center. The Baylor heart transplant team approved David Morava for a heart tranplant, but he died less than a week later. Plaintiff contends that the defendant's were negligent as follows: 1). Failing to refer, and delaying in the referral of, Mr. Morava to a cardiologist and refer him to a transplant center for evaluaation of heart transplantation. 2) Failing to recognize and diagnose the severity of Mr. Morava's medical condition. 3) Failing to follow cardiologists' recommendations that Mr. Morava be evaluated for heart transplant. 4) Failing to treat Mr. Morava with appropriate medical therapy and medication. 5) Dr. Posselt treating a cardiac patient beyond her qualifications. 6). Dr. Shook making medical decisions without exmaining the patient, Mr. Morava 7). Denying Mr. Morava the chance to receive a transplanted heart and survive a longer life expectancy. Defendant denied Plainti's claims. COMG contends that: 1). COMG denies that Dr. posselt and Dr. Shook violated the applicable standard of care or that any care and treatment rendered to mr. morava or any decision regarding Mr. Morava violated the standard of care or caused Mr. Morava harm. 2). COMG contends Mr. Morava's condition was accurately diagnosed and that he received appropriate therapy for his condition. 3) COMG contends Mr. Morava was not a candiate for a hgeart transplant. 4) COMG denies that Dr. Shook was acting in his capacity as its employee or agent.

Outcome: Shortly before trial, Plaintiff settled her claims against PruCare and Prudential. the terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement. COMG did not contribute toward the settlement and did not make any settlement offer. The jury returned a verdict against COMG in the amount of $1,500,000.00

Plaintiff's Experts: Dr. James Goldstein, M.D., cardiologist, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Dr. David Hyman, M.D., internist

Defendant's Experts: Dr. Robert Melvin Clark, M.D., cardiologist, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Comments: Reported by kkm.

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