Wetzel jury returns $4 million wrongful death verdict
NEW MARTINSVILLE -- It took a Wetzel County jury just 45 minutes to return a $4 million wrongful death verdict against a physician. The surviving children and estate of Elizabeth Karpacs won the verdict Jan. 25 against Dr. Anandhi Murthy. It was the second multi-million dollar verdict against Murthy in the past year. During the four-day trial, attorneys said Karpacs went to Wetzel County Hospital in June 2001 with abdominal symptoms and complaints. Tests showed she needed surgery to correct a life-threatening ischemic bowel condition. Attorneys said Murthy treated Karpacs only with fluids and antibiotics before leaving her that evening. She died the following morning before Murthy saw her again of what one expert witness called "an intraabdominal catastrophe." Attorneys Geoff Brown of Bordas & Bordas was the lead counsel for the Karpacs family. "The verdict is a credit to this close family," Brown said. "They fought very hard for justice in the memory of their mother. We were honored to represent such incredible clients." Attorney Christopher J. Regan, also of Bordas & Bordas, tried the case with Brown. The verdict included awards of $1 million to each of Karpacs' three surviving children, as well as another million for the deceased's estate. The trial was presided over by Wetzel Circuit Judge Mark Karl. Murthy was represented at trial by Stephen Brooks and Robert James of the Charleston-based law firm Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso. Brown and Scott Blass won a $5.7 million award against Murthy for another family last spring.