FARMINGTON — A Franklin County jury found Monday that Dr. Larry Labul and Franklin Memorial Hospital were not negligent in the care or death of Maxine Turner, according to a Superior Court judgment.

Turner, 84, of Jay died in February 2011 less than three hours after being discharged from the Farmington hospital and taken to a skilled nursing facility.

The five-day civil trial concluded Monday after closing statements from attorney Celine Boyle, representing the estate of Turner, and attorney Dan Rapaport, representing Labul and the hospital.

Kelly Smith, Turner’s granddaughter, filed the suit on behalf of the estate.

The estate claimed that Labul did not check Turner for pneumonia or reconcile her medications during her hospital stay. Turner had been falling asleep instantly and falling at different times in late 2010 and early 2011. In late January 2011, she fell and hurt her ribs. She had been to her primary care physician and the emergency room before being directly admitted to FMH on Feb. 8 at her doctor’s request.

The complaint filed in court said Labul treated Turner for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which she didn’t have. Medical records shown during the trial at times indicated she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in her medical history and at other times indicated she did not.


Turner died less than three hours after her granddaughter, Megan Page, picked her up from the hospital on Feb. 11, 2011, and drove her to a skilled nursing home in Farmington. Page was told Turner did not qualify for an ambulance. Page testified that her grandmother’s lips were blue in the hospital and that Turner was gasping for air when she got into the car and on the drive to the nursing home.

Boyle also said that Labul was giving the anti-psychotic drug Haldol to Turner for hallucinations, and unsafe dosages of Requip, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome. Turner had the latter.

Boyle also said that Turner walked into the hospital on her own on Feb. 8 and was not able to walk and still having difficulty breathing when she was discharged to a skilled nursing home on Feb. 11, 2011.

Expert witnesses for the defense testified that the doses were appropriate, while an expert witness for the estate disagreed.

Witnesses testified last week that Labul checked Turner for pneumonia and had started treating her for it, but determined after test results that she had COPD exacerbation, among other medical issues. Turner had several lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, in addition to congestive heart failure and other ailments.

Witnesses also testified that Labul met the standard of care and exceeded it at times.

The judgment document in the case included unspecified costs for Labul and FMH.

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