After several weeks of trial, the case of James Woods, et. al. v. Kelli Naylor, et. al. KC-2007-0630 has now settled. The Providence Journal reports the following.
…Tuesday afternoon, just outside the courthouse doors, a beaming Woods and his mother were arm-in-arm with hospital president Sandra Coletta announcing the withdrawal of the lawsuit and a new joint effort by the hospital and the family to improve patient care.
…“We know we’re not perfect at Kent Hospital,” Coletta said. “Mistakes were made. We can do better.”
The news conference announcing the settlement was an astounding turnaround after weeks of testimony during which Woods’ lawyers sought to prove that Kent staff missed or ignored signs of Michael Woods’ impending heart attack and left him unattended on a hospital gurney in a hallway until he was stricken.
Woods, who said he’d filed the suit two years ago with a heart full of anger and bitterness, Tuesday was almost relentless in his praise of Coletta, calling her “very gracious.”
When reporters began questioning Coletta about whether the hospital had erred in its handling of Michael Woods’ case, she got out the words “there’s no question mistakes were made” when Woods abruptly cut her off.
“Let’s not rub anyone’s nose in anything,” he said. Coletta had already apologized to his family, Woods said.
“They did do it [apologized] and people don’t do it,” Woods said. “I don’t want to put her in the position of saying it twice.”
The Journal reports that settlement talks began when Kent Hospital president Sandra Colleta spoke with both James Woods and his mother Martha Dixon and expressed sincere apologies for the death of Michael Woods. Thereafter, on Tuesday morning the parties worked out a settlement that included an undisclosed amount to provide for Woods’ son and daughters as well as the payment of $1.25 over a five year period to create the Michael J. Woods Institute at Kent Hospital.
The hospital will spend $1.25 million over the next five years to develop policies and procedures to promote patient safety and improve internal communication about patient care, beginning in the emergency room. The effort will be run by a board that will include a Woods family member. The hospital will hire a patient safety officer to coordinate institute efforts.
The public admissions by Kent Hospital and the creation of this Institute focused on patient safety are great news for patients in Rhode Island who have grown weary of report after report of negligence at Rhode Island area hospitals with.