A civil trial against St. John’s Hospital and Health Center continues into its second week at the Santa Monica Courthouse.
After the jury was sworn in on Aug. 18, the civil trial filed by Ida Waksberg against St. John’s completed six full days of trial through Aug. 27.
Neither the courts nor any of the parties involved released any information as to when the trial would be complete or if a settlement would be reached on the court’s front steps in the eleventh hour.
The Mirror reached out to attorney Contance Endelcato, who represents St. John’s, to obtain information about the hospital’s defense or responses to Waksberg’s allegations. Endelcato, who is an attorney with Wood, Smith, Henning, and Berman, boasts 60 jury trial wins and zero defeats.
On the other side, a copy of Waksberg’s fourth amended complaint obtained by The Mirror makes three specific allegations against St. John’s: negligence, elder abuse, and medical malpractice.
According to the complaint, Waksberg was admitted into St. John’s on Jan. 8, 2009 and remained as a patient at the hospital until Feb. 1, 2009. She was admitted, the complaint states, because of chest pains and shortness of breath, hypertension, and a suspected heart attack.
One day after her admission into the hospital, administrators and health officials allegedly made plans to discharge Waksberg, the complaint states as part of its negligence cause of action.
The complaint alleges the side railing of her bed was left down. Waksberg apparently tried to get out of bed but, in the process, claims she fell down and sustained injuries.
Attorneys for Waksberg further allege she suffered a Staph infection, apparently as a result of what they believe was the hospital staff’s negligent acts.
Waksberg’s complaint goes on to state St. John’s hospital staff conducted itself with malice in failing to act in the best interests of the patient, thereby raising an elder abuse claim.
Finally, the complaint alleges that since St. John’s employs trained medical and health professionals who should have known how best to treat Waksberg but, as claimed by the lawsuit, to fulfill its industry’s standards of care, the hospital should be on the hook for medical malpractice.
It was reported in last week’s issue of The Mirror that a possible gag order was in effect. However, whether or not such an order was actually issued has not yet been confirmed.
The Mirror will continue to monitor the trial and report on any settlement or jury verdict as soon as such information is made available.