Home >  News >  August, 2014

Court Orders Surgeon to Pay $40,000 for Kicking Nurse

He says it was done playfully. She says he has a history of hostile behavior.

Published: August 6, 2014

A surgeon with an alleged history of bad behavior must pay a nurse $40,000 in damages after kicking her and leaving a bruise, a Kentucky court recently ruled.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a previous decision that ordered cardiothoracic surgeon Robert T. Fried, MD, to compensate Diane Powell, RN, a nurse at King's Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Ashland, Ky., after she sued him for assault and battery.

In October 2008, Ms. Powell assisted Dr. Fried during a case performed at KDMC. Ms. Powell alleges that she was speaking to a co-worker after the procedure when Dr. Fried kicked her in the leg. Dr. Fried denies intentionally hurting Ms. Powell and maintains the kick was done in a "playful" manner.

Ms. Powell told the court that this wasn't the first time Dr. Fried was aggressive towards her. She said he had previously kicked her in surgery, hit her hand with steel surgical instruments, clamped her arm with an instrument and threatened to throw an instrument at her head.

She also sued KDMC for negligent hiring and supervision, intentionally inflicting emotional distress by retaining Dr. Fried's medical privileges and liability for the doctor's actions. The court ruled that Ms. Powell's claims against KDMC did not show the hospital had any intent to cause her injury — required under the Kentucky Workers' Compensation Act — and said in its decision that her claims "involve, at most, negligence by KDMC."

Dr. Fried must pay $5,000 in compensatory damages and $35,000 for punitive damages. He appealed the trial court's original decision, claiming the amount awarded to Ms. Powell was excessive and that his previous actions should not have been presented as evidence.

When reached for comment, Dr. Fried's attorney says the matter is not over, but did not indicate what legal action his client is planning.

Ms. Powell's attorney says the court's opinion speaks for itself and offered no further comment. Lawyers representing KDMC did not immediately return requests for comment.

Kendal Gapinski


Also in the News...

Bill Would Lift Moratorium on Construction and Expansion of Physician-Owned Hospitals
Oregon Bill Would Let ASCs Offer Extended Care
10% of Alcohol-Based Preps Allowed to Dry for 3 Minutes Caught Fire
Emails Show Barry Cadden Tried to Cover His Tracks After His Lab Shipped Contaminated Steroids
Faulty Sensor Leads to Recall of Alaris Syringe Pump
Humble Surgical Hospital is Excoriated by Judge for Bilking Aetna Out of Millions
New Details in How Female Impostor Gained Access to 5 ORs

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

Other Articles That May Interest You

Did Hospital Discriminate Against Allegedly Suicidal CRNA?

Court says hospital acted reasonably when it put her on extended leave.

News & Notes

Hospital Fined $86K for Retained Object Can't Figure How It Got There

The left-behind towel was never intended for internal use.