Couple awarded $7.96 million in jury verdict against mountain view hospital’s redicare – kifi no electricity jokes

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – A jury has awarded an Idaho Falls couple a huge sum of money. A Bonneville County jury awarded $7.96 million to Shane and Rebecca Ackerschott in a medical malpractice claim against Mountain View Hospital and its urgent care clinic, RediCare. The Ackerschotts sued Mountain View Hospital four years ago and won Friday, April 27.

"And they didn’t follow that policy. In fact, they allowed him to move around and had him moving, getting undressed, and he walked down to the X-ray (room). At no time did they take the standard precautions to limit movement or further injury,” said Jarom Whitehead, Ackerschott’s attorney.

It is said that Ackerschott was moving so much during his doctor’s visit, his spinal cord was disrupted to the point that it caused paralysis. But the defendant said, before this happened, Ackerschott refused to go to the emergency room and said he could still walk.

One of the main points of argument during the trial was the definition of a traumatic spinal injury, which is often caused by blunt force trauma, such as a car accident. The jury found the RediCare doctor was fully responsible for the severity of Ackerschott’s injury.

"It is actually unusual for the area. I think that many people give up. They don’t feel like they have the resources or the backing to take on a large hospital corporation. I think that’s because, largely, the deck is stacked in favor of the people with the money — the corporations. But this one, we stuck it out,” Whitehead said.

The Ackerschotts are being awarded 7.96 million — a record number for eastern Idaho in a medical case, according to Whitehead. The award for noneconomic damages is $1 million, and the rest is for Shane Ackerschott’s past and future medical expenses.

“Our next step is to appeal to file motions for a new trial, asking Judge Watkins to set it aside because we think the law is fairly clear that this was not a traumatic injury. If we don’t succeed in persuading Judge Watkins, our next step will be to appeal to the Supreme Court and they will be the final say,” said Williams.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the support we have received over the past 4 years from friends and family and the community. This has been a difficult time for our family. We are grateful and overwhelmed with the hard work of the judge, court staff and jury that allowed us to have our day in court. We are thankful for our attorneys and their tireless efforts on our behalf.”

“What happened to Shane is tragic. He didn’t go to the hospital when he was experiencing an emergency because he was worried about how much it would cost. No patient should be put in this position but as healthcare costs continue to rise we see more patients coming to RediCare when they should be visiting the ER. We are actively working with the community and our patients to help educate them on when they need to seek a higher level of care. The doctors at RediCare are committed to taking care of the community when they are experiencing colds, infections, minor cuts, and sprains. Patients experiencing an emergency need to go to an emergency room. We look forward to resolving this case for Shane and his family. – Courtney Marshall, RediCare Manager”