Pitkin County trial begins in malpractice case
November 4, 2015
A Pitkin County civil jury heard opening arguments and testimony Tuesday afternoon in a trial that will determine if a Basalt orthopedic surgeon was negligent in the death of one of his patients.
The patient's mother, Ursula Ayers, sued Dr. Thomas Moore in April 2014, claiming that he should have detected a blood clot in Hans Ayers' leg about six weeks after he repaired a ruptured tendon in his left knee.
Two weeks after the surgery, Moore placed Hans Ayers' knee in a cast, according to the lawsuit. Then, during a follow-up exam Dec. 17, 2012, Moore told Ayers to remove the cast at home and return to the doctor's office in two days.
Ayers was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs the next morning after having trouble breathing. He died there at 7:22 a.m. of what was later determined to be a blood clot in his left leg, the lawsuit states. He was 48.
Moore should have known that a blood clot was a potential complication of orthopedic surgery on the legs, and should not have let Ayers remove his cast at home, according to the lawsuit.
In an affidavit, Moore says Ayers didn't report a history of blood-clotting problems and that his medical care was appropriate for the circumstances.
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The trial is scheduled to run until Nov. 11 in front of District Court Judge Daniel Petre. The jury is composed of six members and two alternates.