When victims of a sociopathic surgeon sued a hospital over botched surgeries that left patients dead and maimed, they got no help from Greg Abbott.
Instead, Greg Abbott used his AG's office to help the hospital avoid the suits, and was rewarded with a $350,000 donation from the hospital's board chairman.
A piece published in the Dallas Morning News today details Abbott's three interventions on behalf of the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano in their attempts to defend Dr. Christopher Duntsch. Duntsch lost his license after multiple accusations of malpractice that left his patients injured, and in some cases irreparably maimed or dead.
The Dallas Morning News explains that Abbott received substantial donations from Drayton McLane, chairman of the hospital's board and a long-time Republican donor, just not really to Abbott. Per the story:
Abbott received $100,000 from McLane in June 2013 and another $250,000 in January. The donations coincide with Abbott stepping up his fundraising as his campaign for governor developed. But before these contributions, McLane's biggest donation to Abbott was $25,000, according to state records.
The $100,000 donation came a day after the Texas Medical Board suspended the license of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who left Baylor Plano in 2012 after a series of problem surgeries. The second donation was reported a week after the second of several medical malpractice lawsuits was filed against the doctor and hospital.
McLane says he had no knowledge of what looks like a giant payoff to the sitting AG to intervene in a malpractice case to help the hospital:
“I had no knowledge of the Duntsch lawsuits or the challenge of the constitutionality of Texas law in relation to these lawsuits prior to writing my last check to General Abbott's campaign,” McLane said in a written statement.
Okey dokey. He just randomly gave $350,000 and didn't know that his hospital was embroiled in a massive malpractice case that killed some people. Seems solid.
Greg Abbott actually supported the 2003 law that makes it more difficult for victims of malpractice to sue hospitals that maim or kill them.
It's no surprise that Abbott also supports policies that make it harder for victims of personal liability to receive damages, even though he himself won a multi-million dollar lawsuit in such a situation.
Dr. Duntsch is lucky to have Greg Abbott in his corner helping to defend his hospital from medical malpractice. As a colleague wrote the state medical board, “Duntsch is an impaired physician, a sociopath and must be stopped.”
This fall, voters will have a chance to stop another individual who will cause harm to the people of Texas: Greg Abbott.