At a news conference Tuesday discussing a lawsuit against Memorial Hospital, an emotional Clay Chandler could not hold back how he felt about what happened to him while at the hospital.
An attorney for the former Clay County deputy said he suffered all types of complications during a weight reduction surgery in 2007 that he said were caused by poor patient care.
The plaintiffs' problems range from brain damage to bed sores. Chandler's lawyer, Tom Edwards, said his client was not given basic care, which is why he and five other patients are suing Memorial.
The lawsuits were announced last February, and Edwards said Monday that the patients' attorneys have uncovered more information that shows the hospital knew the problems existed.
"We now know they have been warned by their own nurses," Edwards said. "Not only did their own nurses warn them for a long period of time about care problems, the government had stepped in in 2008, citing them for care failures and deficiencies on their annual review, and Memorial would go back and say they fixed it. The reality is they have not fixed it."
Edwards points to a deposition given by a former Memorial nurse who specialized in wound care. She said she quit her job because the hospital would not address her concerns of lack of care.
When talking under oath about what one hospital administrator told her, the former nurse said, "She said, 'Yes, I know we have a problem, but it is too big for us to fix.'"
Memorial, which has not said much since the lawsuit was first filed nearly a year ago, reacted Monday. [Read Full Statement]
"Just because a trial lawyer files a lawsuit and stages another made-for-television event does not mean these year-old allegations are true," Memorial spokesman Adam Landau said. "We prefer to establish the facts of these cases in courtrooms in front of judges and juries."
Landau said the allegations are absurd and taken out of context because of laws that the hospital can't talk about patients.
"The patient in this case came to us with multiple medical problems," Landau said. "When people are hospitalized, they are very sick and their conditions can't be explained in a 15-second sound bite, as a trial lawyer wants you to believe."