Folks I know we swim against public opinion on this topic but we continue to hope the unfortunate patients at Memorial Hospital receive a measure of justice. We covered the New York Times story, which took a critical look at the events here, and contrasted Dr Life with Dr Death in a post that also covered the ill-advised lawsuit which contained actual reader pics from Charity Hospital here. Robin Fields of ProPublica has the story for the Times Picayune:
A ruling issued Wednesday by a federal judge in Louisiana will effectively result in the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed last year against ProPublica and the New York Times.
The case concerned “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” an article written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in August in The New York Times Magazine.
The story reported how, in the chaos after Hurricane Katrina, some health professionals at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans injected severely ill patients — more patients than had previously been known — with lethal doses of drugs.
Dr. William Armington, a neuroradiologist mentioned in two paragraphs of the 13,000-word article, filed the suit in October, claiming the story falsely suggested he had known patients were being euthanized and did not act to prevent it.
In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman wrote that the story did not indicate Armington had been among those involved in injecting patients. The judge concluded the article had not defamed Armington and that Armington had not shown anything in it to be false.
“Dr. Armington,” the court found, “is portrayed as a doctor who, while suspecting euthanasia might occur, renewed his efforts to evacuate all of the patients.”
The judge ordered Armington to pay the defendants’ attorneys fees and costs, in accordance with Louisiana law.
As far as Judge Feldman’s journalistic tastes go if he didn’t like the story then it must have hit home. If I had to guess Dr Pou more than likely runs in the Judges social circles.
Dr Armington, I still think filing the suit was dumb. Even Judge Feldman agrees.