Local man says legal battle with hospital exposes legal system bias|

| December 29, 2015


Dexter Rogers’ uphill fight with Parkview about justice for common folk

FORT WAYNE—Dexter Rogers is fighting a so-called giant. He isn’t afraid.

For more than four years, the Fort Wayne man has been engaged in a battle to find out what happened to his mother, Carrie Bell Rogers, while she was a patient at Parkview Hospital and to determine the exact circumstances that led to her death there—a death he alleges, indicates her death was a result of the hospital’s negligence.

While it appears Rogers is fighting a battle against the hospital’s corporate structure, he said he’s actually fighting another battle; it’s being in a legal system that bends and breaks the court rules and beyond to favor the rich, famous and powerful at the expense of Rogers’ right to due process.

Rogers stated the following about the judicial system in this country:

Carrie Bell Rogers

Carrie Bell Rogers

“The judicial system in this country has been substantially more criminal than it has been just when it comes to African Americans securing justice. The latter is supported by historical facts. The Founding Fathers were white males who owned the land while simultaneously owning slaves. They authored items like the Declaration of Independence that professed ‘all men are created equal’ yet folks who looked like me were bound to the ugliness of slavery. White males wrote the United States Constitution who declared folks who looked like to be ‘three-fifths’ of a human being. There were no rights back in the day and largely the same holds true today because I’m experiencing first hand in my court battle.”

Rogers continued, “Look at what has transpired in Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland and Chicago as of late. Police brutality. Whites negligently killing African Americans without being held accountable for their actions by a judicial system that seemingly welcomes the inequitable administration of justice. Like those African Americans who have been killed at the hands of negligent law enforcement, I’m alleging in my legal claim my mother was killed by Parkview in a negligent fashion. Their acts must be brought to light. The darkness of deceit is not match for the light of the truth. Without question I have truth on my side and I believe the community needs know about the struggles I face.”

Though Rogers is armed with solid legal information backed by the weight of court precedents and the trial rules, he said he was met with obstacles by a judge who refused to order the hospital to provide detailed medical records and other information that would allow him to exercise his rights to due process and file a medical malpractice suit.

Rogers has not given in to the judicial inequity and to what he said are the intimidation tactics of the corporate giant in Parkview. Through determination, research and Divine inspiration, he has won a series of stunning victories against the hospital and in the courtroom in litigating his case without legal counsel. Despite a strong showing in courtroom, he said the system has refused to hold the defendants accountable to those favorable rulings in providing the evidence to Rogers he argued successfully to acquire.

Among those items Rogers successfully argued to acquire was to depose the CEO of Parkview Michael J. Packnett.

Parkview CEO Michael J. Packnett

Parkview CEO Michael J. Packnett

Packnett—who was named “Business Man of the Year” on Nov. 4, 2015 with Governor Mike Pence present in Indianapolis, Indiana—was ordered by the court to be deposed by Rogers on two separate occasions. The attorneys for Parkview and CEO Packnett failed to show up for their June 3, 2015 and July 7, 2015 depositions. In short, Rogers explained, Packnett violated two court orders from Judge Nancy Eschoff Boyer and she refused to issue sanctions.

Rogers said he believes the lawyers at Rothberg Logan & Warsco, LLP namely Mark Baeverstad and Jason Scheele and their client CEO Packnett, are benefiting from preferential treatment from the local judicial system in the form of favorable rulings at the expense of Roger’s rights.

Rogers suggests the following about Packnett: “If Packnett can receive awards for being ‘Business Man of Year’ in Indianapolis then his legal team and the court system should ensure he makes himself available for his legal obligations for his court ordered depositions in Fort Wayne regarding the death of my mother. Rest assured, if I violated two court orders like Packnett the judge would not hesitate to sanction me for such an egregious act of defiance.”

According to an overview of Rogers’ complaint against Parkview Hospital from the court records it reads:

“Mrs. [Carrie Bell] Rogers checked into Parkview Hospital Jun 10, 2011 and passed away Aug. 23, 2011 stemming from a fall she sustained while a patient at Parkview Hospital.

“Dexter Rogers alleges in his medical malpractice claim filed June 25, 2013 [that] Parkview Hospital and their medical professionals did not follow proper protocol when treating her head injury. Mrs. Rogers was subject to a substandard level of care that caused a level of harm that ultimately resulted in her death. Per the coroner’s summary, death certificate and expert testimony, Mrs. Rogers’ official cause of death was a direct result of the fall she sustained at Parkview Hospital on June 26, 2011.”

In an interview with Frost Illustrated, Dexter Rogers explained that on the morning of June 26, 2011, he received a call from the hospital informing him that his mother had fallen. But, upon arriving at the hospital, he said no one would tell the specifics of what happened. When he did see paperwork from the medical chart confirming that his mother had fallen, no specific details of the incident were included, which he said is in violation of hospital policies he researched.

Also, Rogers suggests all falls that result in death stemming from a fall must be reported to the Indiana State Board of Health. Rogers states, from documents supplied to him from Parkview and confirmation from the Indiana State Board of Health, the fall and death of Carrie Bell Rogers was never reported to the state which is a violation of state law.

Furthermore, Rogers said hospital officials told him they had done the appropriate neurological scans shortly after his mother’s fall but, in the subsequent days following her injury he said she began to have difficulty speaking and exhibited other physical problems that could be consistent with neurological damage after a fall. On July 2, 2015 Rogers said he asked that his mother be checked again but hospital personnel told him it was unnecessary. Rogers states his mother fell into a coma July 8, 2015 and would eventually die August 23, 2011 of that year of a subdural hematoma.

He said subsequent attempts to get detailed information on what had happened to his mother in the hospital were met with firm resistance during the course of his lengthy battle with Parkview.

After repeated failed attempts to engage an attorney to take his case, Rogers, a practiced sports journalist, and documentary filmmaker set out on his own to determine his legal rights and options and filed his court case Pro se.

“I approached at least 20 lawyers to take my case in Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. Nobody would touch it. I believe race and the stature Parkview has in this community are the primary reasons why I was not able to secure legal counsel,” he explained.

Rogers continued, “I can read, write and think at a high level plus I’m spiritually persistent. The latter can move mountains. I’ve never been afraid of a challenge and I’m surely not afraid of the lawyers I’m going up against, the judicial system and the corporate giant known as Parkview Hospital. This is about justice for my mother who gave so much to me. I have no fear.”

The overview continues:

“Mr. Rogers alleges he was being stripped of his rights to due process by Trial Judge Stanley A. Levine. Mr. Rogers contends Levine was blatantly abusing his judicial discretion in consistently ruling against him despite having evidence that clearly pointed to the contrary. In hopes of getting the judicial equity he was seeking, Mr. Rogers filed a motion to have Judge Levine removed from presiding over his case. His motion was granted by the court.”

A March 3, 2015 “Order of Recusal” issued from Circuit and Superior Courts 38th Judicial Circuit, Allen County, Ind., supplied by Rogers reads:

“Judge Stanley A. Levine recuses himself as presiding Judge in this case.” The order is signed by Judge Levine.

The overviews continues:

“[On] March 20, 2015, Judge Nancy Eschoff Boyer replaced Judge Levine as the presiding judge. Mr. Rogers alleges the judicial indiscretion that was being levied against him from Judge Levine fails in comparison to what he has experienced from Judge Boyer.”

According to Rogers’ overview of the case:

“[On] May 15, 2015, Mr. Rogers argued successfully to acquire evidence that the attorneys for Parkview Hospital have kept from him for approximately two years. Surprisingly, Judge Boyer—over a four-week span—allowed [Parkview] CEO Michael J. Packnett to violate two court-ordered depositions and refused to enforce her own court orders that would have forced the attorneys representing Parkview to produce the evidence to Mr. Rogers as required.

“Mr. Rogers has sought retribution in the court of appeals in Indianapolis to acquire the evidence in question. On July 29, 2015, Mr. Rogers filed a Notice of Appeal in the Indiana Appellate Court of Appeals in Indianapolis in hopes of securing the evidence that will showcase exactly what happened to his mother so he can properly litigate his case in court.”

Frost Illustrated contacted Parkview for comment but a represent from Parkview’s onstaff legal team hospital officials declined to comment on ongoing litigation.

Next week: Part two—a victory in court but no enforcement.

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Category: Civil Rights, Community, Courts and Justice, Health, Local

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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