Doctor found not at fault in death of patient

Anthony Cloud Staff Writer

September 28, 2013

Pineville Community Hospital Dr. Uyi Idemudia was successful in defending a civil action against him during a trial that concluded on Friday in Bell Circuit Court.

The trial stemmed from a lawsuit filed over the death of James K. Gross.

After two weeks of testimony, a jury decided there was not enough evidence showing Idemudia was at fault in the death of Gross. Idemudia was represented by attorney James Roark.

As described in the jury’s instructions, it was the duty of Idemudia in treating Gross to exercise that degree of care and skill expected of a reasonably competent physician specializing in internal medicine and acting under similar circumstances.

The civil action was filed by Contessa Robbins, the administrator of the Gross estate.

Robbins filed the suit seeking damages following the death of Gross. The jury could have awarded up to $8,615 for funeral and burial expenses and $833,502 for loss of the power to labor and earn money.

The jury could have also awarded $2 million each to Gross’ two children for their father’s death, which resulted in the loss of parental love and affection.

The original complaint was filed against Dr. Talmadge Hays, Idemudia and Pineville Community Hospital. The complaint states defendants rendered medical care and treatment to Gross between Dec. 23, 2008 until his death on Dec. 26, 2008, and the defendants were negligent in their care and treatment of Gross.

During closing arguments on Friday, plaintiff attorney Albert B. McQueen Jr. claimed Gross died from a drug induced respiratory insufficiency.

McQueen said Gross was not given continuous pulse oximetry, which would have alarmed staff when his oxygen saturation decreased moments before death. He classified the death as “preventable.”

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, acloud@civitasmedia.com