Split verdict overturned in favor of Evan over Teichman
LEWISBURG – A judge has overturned the split verdict in the Dr. Fred Teichman vs. Evangelical Community Hospital lawsuit and ruled in favor of the hospital. Judge Michael Sholley reversed Monday’s jury findings saying there were some inconsistencies in the jury’s final decision. The result is, the judge overturned the split verdict in favor of Evan and all defendants in the case are granted immunity from damages.
Judge Sholley says there were inconsistencies with the jury’s decision based on what was said by their foreperson and what was written on the verdict slip. He also said the jury didn’t understand part of the trial which prevented them from answering a question on the verdict slip. By law, Sholley says the defense is entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
In the original split verdict, the jury said the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee did not make a reasonable effort to gather information before summarily suspending Teichman’s clinical privileges. That suspension was in June of 2012, and took place before a special meeting in July which was held to discuss Teichman’s future, meaning, Teichman did have some advance notice of the issues.
Teichman’s current practice, Central Penn Women’s Health, has released a statement:
“On Monday, after more than three weeks of trial, the jury decided that the hospital did not undertake a reasonable investigation and therefore violated federal law when it took action to summarily suspend Dr. Teichman’s clinical privileges in 2012. Today, for reasons we do not understand, the Judge overturned the jury’s verdict. We are obviously disappointed by this decision and are evaluating our options. Central Penn Women’s Health Care and Dr. Teichman are proud of the quality health care that we have provided to patients over the years.”
Evangelical Hospital issued this statement after the judge’s ruling, “We are extremely pleased the judge understood that the evidence clearly demonstrated the Medical Executive Committee at Evangelical acted appropriately in the interest of patient safety and the Hospital administration’s decisions were warranted and justified,” said Kendra Aucker, President and CEO, Evangelical Community Hospital. Aucker said, “This case really boils down to the fact that we will never waiver from our commitment to patient safety and high-quality healthcare. We did the right thing to protect the safety of our patients.”
It’s unclear if Teichman will appeal.