The medical malpractice trial of a Lubbock physician with a 14 million dollar verdict ended Saturday moning. Attorney's say it's the largest amount a Lubbock jury has ever awarded in a medical malpractice case.
The case involves the death of Vicki Bramlett of Wolfforth. Bramlett underwent a hysterectomy in 2002. It was performed by Dr. Benny Phillips. Bramlett died after experiencing complications. Her family filed suit against Dr. Phillips and Covenant hospital. Covenant settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.
On Tuesday Dr. Phillips' civil trial began here in Lubbock. Saturday jurors sided with Bramlett's family, and awarded them a record 14 million dollars in damages. Vicky Bramlett's family claimed Dr. Phillips intentionally ignored warning signs of complications that eventually led to her death. Tommy Turner the Bramlett's attorney stated, "This should not have happened, every expert that testified in this trial, and even the defendant and his partner agreed that she should not have died."
Attorneys for Dr. Phillips argued that the nursing staff failed to give him a full report on her condition. After 3 days of testimony, the jury returned the verdict just before one o'clock Saturday morning. They ruled Dr. Phillips was grossly negligent for Bramlett's death.
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"Not only was this doctor negligent he was grossly negligent which means the doctor has an actual subjective awareness and knows about the potential risk of harm but proceeds with the behavior anyway its just short of hurting someone intentionally," states Tunner, he also said Dr. Phillips left the hospital to meet with a personal trainer after Vicki Bramlett's surgery while away Bramlett bled to death.
Attorneys believe the 14 million dollar verdict will send a message to the entire medical community. "The message that doctors are going to get, and other wrong-doers are going to get here in Lubbock, from now on, if you treat us badly here, this is what a Lubbock jury will do to you," said Turner.
Alexander Klein another attorney for the Bramlett family states, "The fact that it can happen in Lubbock is a frightening proposition, so we asked the jury to send a message - a clear message - that folks in Lubbock deserve the same quality treatment as folks in Amarillo, Abilene, Ft. Worth and other cities." Newschannel 11 tried to reach Dr. Phillips today for comment. But our efforts were unsuccessful.