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HOSPITAL SETTLES SUIT OVER REMOVAL OF WRONG LUNG

The family of a Texas man who died of cancer after a surgeon removed his healthy right lung and left a tumor in his left one, settled a suit with the hospital for about $9 million.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday that the hospital, Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas, admitted no wrongdoing in the case but Friday settled the family's wrongful-death lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties of a trial.The man, Benjamin Jones, a machinist, died in February 1994 at age 62, nearly three years after his July 1991 surgery, the newspaper said.

The lawsuit alleged that a top hospital official knew that there was confusion over the location of Jones' tumor one week after the surgery but did not tell Jones about it.

In October, a group of seven doctors paid the Jones family $5.5 million in the case and the surgeon, Robert McFaul, admitted in a signed statement that he negligently removed the wrong lung, the newspaper said.

A woman who answered the main telephone number Saturday at the Fort Worth-based hospital said McFaul was no longer employed at the facility.

Jones was never told about the error and instead discovered it on his own when he reviewed his medical records after switching health plans, the paper said.

After he died, an autopsy revealed Jones had had a good chance of beating the cancer even after the surgical mistake. But his wife, Shirley, told the newspaper that doctors told her husband that treatment would buy him a painful few months at best, so he decided it wasn't worth it.