MARTINSBURG – Seven days before a public trial would have begun in a previously confidential medical malpractice suit, the parties settled and the case closed.
On Aug. 10, U.S. District Judge John Bailey signed an order approving a settlement between West Virginia University Hospital East and legal guardians of a minor.
The settlement also resolved the hospital's cross claim against the United States.
Trial would have begun on Aug. 17, ending two years of nearly perfect secrecy.
Bailey sealed every document in the case except two orders relating to a motion to recuse Magistrate Judge James Seibert.
According to one of those orders, plaintiffs Hugh Bohrer and Cheryl Bohrer alleged that negligence caused a child to suffer permanent injuries at birth.
Washington lawyers Barry Nace and Jonathan Nace sued the hospital and the government in 2008.
They represented the child's legal guardian, Shannon Gregg, but later substituted the Bohrers as guardians.
According to the docket, which remained public, Bailey dismissed their claims against the government but allowed a cross claim by the hospital against the government.
In July, as trial approached, docket entries offered tantalizing clues about evidence.
On July 26, Bailey received and sealed a mediator's report.
On July 29, he appointed Christopher Prezioso as guardian ad litem.
Presiozo submitted a report on Aug. 9, and Bailey sealed it.
Next day, Bailey signed and sealed a settlement order.
Along with Nace and Nace, Michael Burke of Martinsburg represented the Bohrers.
U.S. attorney Helen Altmeyer of Wheeling represented the government.
Christine Vaglienti of Morgantown represented the hospital, along Matthew Moriarty of Cleveland and Atlanta lawyers John Hall and Shaun Daugherty.