Civil suit related to Tupelo hospice investigation

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dr. Paul White and the heirs of a former Sanctuary Hospice patient have asked a federal judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the physician.

Rebecca Dillard and Faye McLain, daughters of Esther Evans, and White say in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Oxford that they have “resolved their differences” over Evans’ death.

No ruling has been issued on the motion.

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The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the motion does not seek dismissal of the lawsuit against Sanctuary or Marilyn Lehman, its former clinical director.

The sisters contend in the lawsuit that the hospice and Lehman are to blame for their mother’s death allegedly because of massive doses of drugs five days after Evans was admitted to Sanctuary on Sept. 16, 2006.

White is former medical director at the west Tupelo facility.

The women sued Lehman, White and Sanctuary Hospice on Aug. 18, 2008. The case is set for jury trial Nov. 15, 2010 in Oxford.

Lehman and White were indicted in 2008 in Lee County on 33 criminal charges associated with the deaths of 11 Sanctuary patients. Evans was one of those patients.

Lehman was accused of practicing medicine without a license, and White was accused of misdemeanor neglect of a vulnerable adult and aiding and abetting the practice of medicine without a license.

Each has pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and been sentenced to fines and probation.