The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

November 4, 2013

Jury finds doctor negligent; family to receive $2.5 million

NORMAN — A Cleveland County jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against a local Norman Regional Hospital doctor in district court Friday.

Attorney Jeff Glendening, defending Dr. Lana Nelson, said Monday it was a complicated case and he thought the verdict reflected a lot of sympathy for the family involved.

Nelson performed a gastric bypass surgery on Donna Smith, 50, of Thackerville, in October 2009. Smith was losing blood after the surgery and Smith’s attorney alleged that as a result, Smith died two days later, Glendening said.

Smith’s attorney, Spencer Housing, said Monday after a long week of trial the family has been through a lot with rehashing old stories and opening old wounds, but they feel “their mom has been vindicated.”

Glendening said the jurors seemed to be swayed by emotion and sympathy because during the pendency of the lawsuit, Smith’s husband was killed by a drunk driver and her daughter had died two months ago for reasons never explained.

“Dr. Nelson absolutely met appropriate standards of surgical care, which is a big deal. Her medical management of Ms. Smith was appropriate at all times,” Glendening said. “On behalf of Dr. Nelson, we established beyond, frankly, any doubt there was no bleed. There was not a bleed beyond what would have normally been expected in surgery and that she did not loose so much blood that it caused her death.”

The defense attorney said Smith was morbidly obese and knew it was a risky procedure because of her underlying issues. While she had a list of illnesses associated with her obesity, the underlying surgery was without any complications, he said.

Smith also knew she would most likely die without the gastric bypass surgery, Glendening said.

“Dr. Nelson also undertook a second exploratory surgery to rule out or confirm a post-operative bleed that might have explained Ms. Smith’s deteriorating condition post operatively, and no bleed was ever found,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Crime/Courts
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Crime news

    Norman man charged for possession of child porn A Norman man was charged with possession of juvenile pornography after law enforcement tracked an IP address that child porn had been downloaded from....

    July 25, 2014

  • Shop couple charged again

    A Norman couple whose felony charges were dropped last year for intent to distribute synthetic marijuana out of their aromatherapy shop were charged again Thursday in Cleveland County District Court. Dennis Kirby England, 42, and Christie ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014

  • First Junior Police Academy class graduates

    The Norman Police Department will host a graduation ceremony for its first Norman Junior Police Academy class today....

    July 24, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Tuesday: · 2:36 a.m. assault report, 700 block of Stinson Street · 7:32 a.m. larceny report, 5400 block of Huettner Drive · 8:30 a.m. larceny report, 800 block of North ...

    July 24, 2014