Ron Springs' fight is dead. His litigation, however, lives on.
While former Cowboys teammates Roger Staubach and Everson Walls prepare to speak at Springs' funeral in Carrollton on Thursday, the ex-running back, who died of a heart attack while in a 3 1/2-year coma last week, is still being represented furiously by a Dallas lawyer determined to get his wife and family financial compensation for what he believes was "reckless and heedless disregard for human life" by Medical City and a team of doctors.
In this case, the price of pain, suffering and death could be around $2 million.
In October 2007, Springs went to Medical City in Dallas for surgery to remove a cyst from his left forearm, only to lapse into a coma when his brain went without oxygen while being administered anethesia by Dr. Joyce Abraham, who was working under the supervision of plastic surgeon Dr. David Godat.
In the wake of Springs' plight, his wife, Adriane, sued the doctors and Medical City for medical malpractice and the case was in and out of the 14th Judicial District Court of Dallas County since last August. In her petition, Adriane alleges that Abraham was negligent in failing to "perform a proper pre-operative evaluation" of Ron and in "failing to select the appropriate method of anesthesia."
Said Abraham's attorney, Bill Chamblee for my cover story from March 2010: "This was just one of those sad, unforeseen cases where the 1 percent risk in surgeries makes itself present. While I agree that Mr. Springs would be alive today had he not had the surgery, there are some questions we want answered that are simply unanswerable."
Countered Springs' attorney, Les Weisbrod: "The defendants want to drag this thing out because it will become a lot less expensive for all their insurance companies if Ron just passes away. Well, guess what? Ron Springs isn't going to die. He's fighting, and we're going to fight for him."
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So ... where does this thing go from here?
Contacted yesterday, Wesibrod offered this statement:
The Springs family is profoundly grieving the loss of Ron Springs. His body is with the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office. There will be no further statements until the Medical Examiner has concluded his work. The lawsuit will continue but damages the Springs family can recover will be further limited because there is a $250,000 non-economic damages cap and a medical malpractice case death cap which cannot exceed $1.7 million including the $250,000 non-economic limit, plus recovery of past medical expenses. Ron Springs' death is truly a tragedy which could have been prevented had he received appropriate medical care back in October 2007.
You get the feeling this sad story isn't going to have a happy ending on any level.