Jury: St. Vincent's Hospital should pay for preventable death

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$3.5 million awarded in malpractice case

November 13, 2007

BRIDGEPORT — A Bridgeport Superior Court jury today awarded $3.5 million to the estate of a man who died in the emergency room of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, saying his treatment was negligent medical malpractice and that his death was preventable..

Gregory Ackley, who was 47 years old at the time of his death on February 27, 1999, was taken to the hospital’s emergency room by his father after showing signs of pneumonia. The hospital neglected to give Gregory needed oxygen and he died, according to the lawsuit.

Atty. John Jessep, of the Bridgeport and New Haven firm, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, noted that Gregory was mentally handicapped.

“This jury clearly understood that every life has value,” Jessep said.

The lawsuit said the hospital “failed to promptly provide a physician to assess, evaluate and treat Gregory Ackley” even after his vital signs had been taken, indicating he was seriously ill and needed immediate attention.

The trial began October 30 after three weeks of jury selection and concluded today with the jury’s verdict. The hospital was defended by Atty. Paul Williams of the Hartford-based law firm, Day Pitney, LLP.

Ackley, formerly of Stratford, lived with his father. His mother is deceased.

The law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, with offices in Bridgeport, Danbury and New Haven, has served the public for more than 60 years. Koskoff’s team of trial lawyers handles cases for individuals, groups and businesses who have suffered serious personal injury or loss from accidents, negligence, malpractice or civil rights violations.