LifeNews.com

Judge: Gosnell Can’t Avoid Civil Lawsuit in Botched Abortion

by Steven Ertelt | Philadelphia, PA | LifeNews.com | 3/1/11 12:10 PM

State

A local judge has ruled that embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell — who has gained national notoriety for the shoddy abortion business he ran — can’t sell his assets to avoid a civil lawsuit.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticides that involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

The charges also include a count of murder related to the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar from a botched abortion Gosnell performed. Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor.

The family of the woman Gosnell killed has filed a civil lawsuit against him and against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.

In a new ruling, Common Pleas Judge Paul Panepinto granted a temporary injunction that prevents the abortion practitioner from liquidating his assets in an effort to avoid paying out any money in the settlement his attorney may arrange with attorneys for Mongar’s family. The Philadelphia Daily News indicates Bernard Smalley, the attorney representing Monar’s family, requested the injunction and a hearing will be held on March 9 to determine if the injunction should remain permanent.

The injunction requires Gosnell’s attorney to make public all of the properties he owns and prevents him from transferring the deed to the home he has in Brigantine, New Jersey — valued at about $1 million — to a family member or someone else. He is also unable to sell the Women’s Medical Society abortion business for less than market value.

The News indicates Gosnell will be able to sell some real estate assets to cover legal fees but he can’t sell everything and declare himself unable to pay the civil lawsuit.

“We have no knowledge about what he owns, but what we wanted to prevent was him in any way dissipating his assets,” Smalley said, according to the paper.

A political refugee from the country of Bhutan, Mongar went to Gosnell on Nov. 19, 2009 for the abortion and, prior to it, was given numerous doses of pain and sedation drugs by an individual who was not a licensed medical practitioner.

Massive amounts of drugs found in the victim’s system led authorities to suspect Gosnell was illegally prescribing pain-killers. He temporarily lost his medical license in both Pennsylvania and neighboring Delaware. Pennsylvania officials suspect Mongar died from the botched abortion in part because she had been treated by unlicensed personnel.

The State Board of Medicine says Gosnell had the unlicensed staff member give vaginal exams and administer the drugs Demerol, Promethazine and Diazepam. He was eventually fined $1,000 for the violations.

The complaint alleges that Gosnell failed to provide proper care before, during and after the abortion, employed unlicensed personnel and lacked essential equipment to resuscitate Mongar. The case, filed by the Anapol Schwartz law firm in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, seeks recovery for her death and punitive damages.

In a statement LifeNews.com obtained previously, Smalley said  “Gosnell put profits above the safety of his patients.”

“He refused to pay for licensed qualified medical personnel, allowing non-trained individuals to perform critical medical duties. He was not even present at the time medications and anesthesia were administered. He was, by all descriptions, running an office better characterized as a horror show. We are committed to making certain that justice is served for the Mongar family,” Smalley said.

She experienced severe cramping and asked for additional pain medication. The unlicensed assistant contacted Gosnell, who instructed her to administer more doses. Near the end of the procedure, Mongar began losing color and had no pulse.

Forced from their home in Bhutan, Mongar, her husband and three children lived in a hut in a refugee camp in Nepal for 18 years. She lost one child in the refugee camp from poor living conditions. In June 2009, the family was given the opportunity by the United States government to relocate to this country United States to begin new lives.

“Five months after coming to this country, Karna’s life was cut short as a result of the horrendous actions of Dr. Gosnell,” said Smalley.

He added:  “This was a death that should never have occurred. It is deplorable that a woman who spent the past 18 years of her life as a political refugee would finally gain the promise of the freedom this country has to offer, only to die at the hands of a man who was supposed to care for her. Dr. Gosnell must be held accountable so no other families have to suffer from the actions of a doctor who failed to uphold the most basic tenets of his oath.”

Last March, the Pennsylvania Department of Health found the abortion center had violated more than a dozen health and safety laws ranging from a lack of equipment and drugs for emergency resuscitation to not having a way to get patients to a hospital or a backup physician. The Philadelphia Inquirer indicated at the time that Gosnell also delayed the report to the state concerning Mongar. He had until April 12 to respond to the charges but has failed to do so, and missed an extension taking him to April 30.

In the raid, officials found what amounted to a “house of horrors” — including collection jars containing the remains of pre-born babies dating back 30 years along with filthy and unsafe conditions and evidence that unlicensed workers had been illegally treating patients. The office has no access for a stretcher in the case of an emergency. In previous emergencies, care was delayed because exit doors were padlocked shut or blocked with debris from the clinic.

The abortion industry has been forced to suspend two abortion businesses that employed embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who has been the subject of national controversy over his abortion business in Philadelphia.

Following revelations that Gosnell is associatedwith two other abortion centers in Louisiana and Delaware, the National Abortion Federation made the decision to suspend the memberships of both. Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion business that employed Gosnell one day a week to do abortions, and the Delta Clinic abortion center of Baton Rouge, have both had their memberships suspended. Leroy Brinkley owns both abortion businesses. Atlantic operates abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.

Delaware law does not require inspections of abortion centers but Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said his office will launch a “wide-ranging” investigation of Gosnell and probe his work at the Delaware abortion facility given the vast problems at his Pennsylvania abortion center.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticides that involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

Gosnell has been denied bail while the case against him moves forward. Women have spoken out about their treatment and one woman says she was drugged and tied up and forced to have an abortion.

Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.

The grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothingwhen reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett who fired several state employees.