Hospital Corp. Settles Suits Alleging Malpractice in West Virginia

March 14, 2008

Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corp. of America and a former subsidiary have agreed to settle 70 lawsuits alleging malpractice by a former West Virginia physician.

The total amount of the settlements and attorneys’ fees will not be disclosed for several weeks. Details of some settlements haven’t been finalized, The Charleston Gazette reported Thursday.

Dr. John A. King is a defendant in 124 medical malpractice lawsuits in West Virginia and two in Alabama.

King has not agreed to any settlements. A physician’s assistant who once worked with King, David McNair, has agreed to settle cases against him, the newspaper said.

Each of the West Virginia lawsuits alleges the 49-year-old osteopath botched surgeries or otherwise harmed patients during his six months at the former Putnam General Hospital.

Putnam General hired King in November 2002 and suspended his privileges the following May after a review of his work. He later surrendered his West Virginia medical license and left the state. HCA sold the 65-bed hospital to Charleston Area Medical Center in 2006.

Plaintiffs in the 70 cases settled by HCA and the hospital are all clients of Curry and Tolliver, a Charleston law firm, the newspaper said.

King filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 in November, meaning his debts could be eliminated.

Records show King has been licensed in more than a dozen states but has surrendered, lost his license or had his license suspended in at least six. He let his license expire in two other states.

Information from: The Charleston Gazette,

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