Coast Man Wins Major Lawsuit

A Hancock County man has been awarded almost 1.8 million dollars in a medical malpractice suit. Charles Connetti underwent surgery for a brain cyst he never had.

In September 2001, Connetti sued surgeon Michael Lowry and radiologist Michael Diaz, along with Memorial Hospital in Gulfport and Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Twelve jurors agreed yesterday, after just three hours of deliberation, that the two doctors were responsible for Connetti's permanent neurological damage.

Lowry was found 40 percent responsible and ordered to pay $810,000. The jury found Diaz 35 percent responsible, which amounts to $630, 000. Memorial Hospital was found to be responsible for 20 percent, but has already settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Connetti's wife was awarded $25,000 for loss of spousal services and companionship.

The cyst that was absent in Connetti's brain caused the death of another patient, Robert King. His family has filed a separate lawsuit, which will go to trial in April 2005.