Tulsa County jury awards $7.5 million in medical lawsuit
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Friday, October 26, 2012
10/26/12 at 4:23 AM
Tulsa County jurors awarded $7.5 million in damages to a couple Wednesday in a lawsuit over a thyroid surgery.
Judy Williams' surgery in 2006 resulted in paralyzed vocal cord nerves and has caused her problems with her voice and breathing, according to one of her attorneys, Clark Brewster.
The jury awarded $5 million in damages to Williams and $2.5 million in damages to her husband, Doyle Williams.
The verdict was returned against Dr. James Lockhart Jr., who performed the surgery, and Surgical Associates Inc.
District Judge Mark Barcus, who presided over the eight-day trial in the lawsuit, which was filed in 2008, instructed jurors that the parties agreed that Lockhart was an agent of Surgical Associates Inc., which would therefore be liable for any negligent acts by him.
The plaintiffs alleged that Lockhart was negligent in his care and treatment of Judy Williams, now 59, during and after the thyroid surgery, which caused her to suffer a life-altering injury.
Lockhart and Surgical Associates maintained that the care and treatment provided to her was within the relevant standard of medical care and did not cause her injuries.
The defendants in the civil suit denied allegations of negligence.
Doyle Williams' request for money damages was based on a claim of a loss of companionship and a loss of the marriage relationship.
Brewster said Judy Williams "can speak in a whisper" and said the husband has been "incredibly attentive'' to his wife.
Tim Best, an attorney representing Lockhart and Surgical Associates, was not reached for possible comment by telephone on Thursday.
The trial outcome can be appealed.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa jury awards $7.5 million in medical lawsuit
Bill Braun 918-581-8455