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Judge set to hear arguments in Tyrone Hospital case

Two dates have been set on Judge Hiram Carpenter’s calendar regarding a $4 million jury verdict earlier this year against Tyrone Hospital and a gynecologist.
Both the hospital and Dr. Roy Pazmino are seeking relief after the jury awarded the verdict to a 10-year-old boy for health problems that stemmed from his birth at the hospital in December of 1995.
The plaintiffs in the case contended that the hospital and its staff, Pazmino and an anesthesiologist were negligent in the birth of Jacob Mayhue.
The jury found all the parties negligent, but said that the actions of the anesthesiologist were not the cause of the boy’s medical problems. The jury found Pazmino to be 80 percent responsible and the hospital’s obstetrical nursing staff 20 percent. Pazmino did not work for the hospital at the time of the incident.
The hospital has said that it can pay its portion of the award, but would not be able to pick up the amount owed by the doctor if he is unable to pay his share. Insurance is expected to cover $2 million of the jury’s award. The hospital would then be responsible to pay the remaining amount of more than $2 million.
In March, Hospital CEO Walter Van Dyke told The Daily Herald, “We’re not prepared to pay someone else’s expenses.”
He said, “We’re perfectly able to pay our portion, but if the doctor can’t pay his, we’ll have to pick up the (remainder).”
Van Dyke said that would “cause a financial hardship”, and the hospital would have to file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to provide protection for the hospital to “hopefully regroup and hopefully recover.”
The hospital is seeking a retrial in the case with a $2 million award limit or to have the amount awarded earlier this year reduced to $2 million.
Judge Carpenter is scheduled to meet with attorneys on June 15 for a status conference according to the Blair County Court Administrator’s office. The meeting will not be open to the public and parties involved in the case will not be present.
The judge is also scheduled to hear oral arguments on motions that have been filed in the case on July 17. In that instance, the proceedings will be open to the parties involved and to the public.