WINFIELD – Videotaped testimony from six of the more than 100 people who have filed medical malpractice suits against a former Putnam County doctor have popped up on YouTube.
In June, Putnam Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding had sealed all filings and evidence in the 122 pending lawsuits against Dr. John King, who worked at Putnam General Hospital for six months in 2002 and 2003.
Still, three minutes of video of some of the plaintiffs – including videotaped depositions and surveillance footage – can be found online by clicking here.
The video begins with written words.
"Ten cases are set for trial," the video, which was posted June 26 by someone with the login name of jaredredding, begins. "One case, Dillon vs. King, has been dismissed already.
"Here are clips from six of the nine remaining."
Plaintiff No. 1 in the video is Gary Wilfong. His footage seems to be a videotaped deposition dated Jan. 22, 2007. An off-camera voice asks him who David McNair is.
"He's a guy who was with him there, down there," Wilfong answers.
"You don't know him?" the voice asks. "Why did you sue him?"
"Because he's in the suit," Wilfong replies.
"Do you even have any reason for suing him?" the voice asks.
"For my … for what he's done," Wilfong says.
"What did he do?" the voice asks.
"My pain," Wilfong says.
"How did he do anything to your pain?" the voice asks.
"He didn't help it," Wilfong replies.
McNair was King's orthopedic physician assistant.
Plaintiff No. 2 in the video is Harold Mayfield. His videotaped deposition is dated Feb. 8, 2007. He claims he can't get into his vehicle without swinging his legs.
"I do not just get in and sit down," he says.
That is followed by surveillance video of Mayfield getting into a car like most people do.
Plaintiff No. 3 is Pamela McGrew. Her deposition is dated Dec. 18, 2006. She says she no longer can go to her grandchildren's functions, and she says she no longer can dance.
"That's hard to do," she says in the videotaped testimony. "That's an effort."
While she's saying those words, pictures of her dancing at a Sept. 2, 2006, wedding reception are being shown.
Plaintiff No. 4 is a "Mr. Burch," who says his 2002 surgery was unnecessary and left him with back and leg pain. It follows with a Nov. 13, 2006, surveillance video that seems to show him stepping in to start a motorized wood cutter after a younger man couldn't do so and later cutting wood.
Plaintiff No. 5 is Randy Peck. He says his surgery left him with difficulty gripping items with his left hand.
"It's very painful," Peck says in his deposition. "It causes me to drop things. I don't have the grip, and it's painful."
That is overlapped by surveillance footage of him carrying a case of Coors Light out of a store with his left hand.
The last person shown in the video is Harlan Dean. He claims his wife has limited mobility since her ankle surgery.
"She can't do stuff like she used to do," he says in Dec. 15, 2006, testimony. "Her mobility and everything, she can't … there's not much she does outside, that she can do."
That is overlapped with Feb. 24, 2007, surveillance footage of her getting her mail and running errands.
On Tuesday, a Putnam County jury ruled that Putnam General Hospital was negligent in hiring King. That means Putnam General will be a co-defendant in the 122 cases against King. It also ruled the plaintiffs can seek punitive damages from the hospital.
King has been named a defendant by dozens of former patients or surviving family members for his six months at Putnam General in 2002 and 2003. Those medical malpractice cases allege King did shoddy and sometimes unnecessary surgeries.
After Putnam General suspended him in May 2003, King gave up his West Virginia license. He since has changed his name to Christopher Wallace Martin and now reportedly lives in Alabama. He did not testify in the trial, but a videotaped deposition of him was used.
Hospital Corporation of America Inc. owned Putnam General when King worked there. But last August, HCA announced it planned to close the hospital, citing the legal climate of doing business - including the King malpractice cases. But Charleston Area Medical Center bought the facility and avoided closing Putnam County's only hospital.
The first malpractice case is set for trial in November.