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Florida Supreme Court Asked To Hear Malpractice Case

Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The estate of a woman who died during surgery in 2009 has asked the Florida Supreme Court to take up a medical-malpractice dispute that focuses on whether Tampa General Hospital could be held liable.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in August ruled against the estate of Annie Godwin, who died on the operating table during a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Godwin suffered a tear in a large vein during the surgery and died because of heavy bleeding, according to the appeals-court ruling.

The case involves issues about Tampa General's relationship with the University of South Florida, which employed two physicians involved in the surgery. Tampa General is the primary teaching hospital for the university's College of Medicine.

The estate sued Tampa General, the university and the physicians, but a circuit judge and the appeals court cleared Tampa General, with the appeals court saying, in part, that the physicians were employees of the university and not the hospital.

As is common, an initial notice of appeal filed last week in the Supreme Court did not fully detail arguments that the estate's attorneys will make.