Patient to sue Texas hospital that employed former nurse charged with murder

Lawyers plan to file a lawsuit against Tyler, Texas-based Christus Mother Frances Health System following the arrest of a former nurse charged with the murder of a patient last week, reports Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Here are three things to know.

1. The nurse, 34-year-old William George Davis, worked at Tyler-based Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital before his Feb. 15 termination. The Texas Nursing Board, which suspended Mr. Davis' license March 16, is investigating claims he is responsible for inappropriate care interventions involving up to seven patients. The interventions caused one patient to die and left two others in vegetative states.

2. Lawyers filed a medical negligence claim on behalf of one of Davis' victims, 58-year-old Joseph Kalina, whom clinicians were treating for a heart attack at Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. While Mr. Kalina was conscious and speaking after heart surgery, his condition suddenly deteriorated, leaving him paralyzed and unable to speak. The lawsuit will seek damages against the hospital to fund the lifelong care Mr. Kalina will need.  

"We want to know what the hospital knew and when they knew it," said Tom Crosley, lead attorney and partner at the Crosley Law Firm, in a press conference cited by Tyler Morning Telegraph. "Our client was the seventh patient listed on the arrest warrant and this went on for seven months. … Hospitals should not employ nurses that harm patients; we will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions."

3. Christus Mother Frances Hospital said it could not comment on pending litigation in an April 13 statement cited by Tyler Morning Telegraph. However, the hospital did comment on Mr. Davis' employment.

"Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, and because federal privacy regulations prevent us from sharing details about specific patients' conditions or care, the hospital is limited in what it can discuss," the hospital said in the statement. "Mr. Davis was a credentialed nurse who passed all background checks when he was hired. There was nothing about Davis' employment history that would have indicated he was likely to commit a crime."

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