Hospital Firm to Settle 11 Lawsuits in Former West Virginia Doctor Case

April 21, 2008

Hospital Corporation of America has agreed to settle 11 lawsuits that accuse a former West Virginia physician of harming patients, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.

The lawsuits were filed by former patients and their families against Dr. John A. King, HCA and the former Putnam General Hospital, where King practiced from November 2002 to June 2003.

HCA sold the hospital, now called CAMC Teays Valley Hospital, to Charleston Area Medical Center in 2006.

Charleston lawyer William Druckman, who represents the 11 plaintiffs, announced the settlements April 17 in Putnam County Circuit Court. He did not disclose the settlement amounts and declined to comment on them.

The lawsuits are among 124 cases involving King. In March, HCA and the hospital agreed to settle 70 cases involving plaintiffs represented by the Charleston law firm of Curry & Tolliver. Details of those settlements have not been disclosed.

The lawsuits allege King, an osteopath, botched surgeries or otherwise harmed patients during his six-month stint at the hospital.

The hospital suspended his privileges in May 2004, after a review of his work. He later surrendered his West Virginia medical license and left the state.

King has filed a lawsuit of his own, seeking $10 million from the state Board of Osteopathy. King claims in the lawsuit that the board illegally damaged his reputation by revoking his license, which he says led to suspensions or revocations in other states.

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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