Hospital Comments On Dismissal Of Lawsuits In Cullen Case

St. Luke's Hospital has issued a statement in response to last month's dismissal by a Lehigh County judge of 10 lawsuits against the hospital in the Charles Cullen case. Cullen is serving a life sentence after admitting to killing 29 patients at hospitals where he worked as a nurse in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. [ 7/8/09 REPORT: Judge Dismisses 10 Cases In Cullen Matter ] [ 7/8/09 REPORT: 10 Cullen Civil Suits Dismissed ] He called them mercy killings. He worked at St. Luke's for two years, starting in 2000. On June 30, Judge Edward Reibman issued an order dismissing 10 of the remaining cases against St. Luke's. Officials say only seven of the original 27 lawsuits filed against the hospital remain. "It has taken more than five years for this vindication to be attained and the Trustees, management and employees of St. Luke’s are gratified justice has been served and these frivolous and malicious lawsuits have not been permitted to move forward," said Susan Schantz, St. Luke’s senior spokesperson. "St. Luke’s will continue to defend our reputation against those who attack us through baseless allegations. Our direct caregivers and those who support their efforts deserve no less." St. Luke's says the judge's decision mirrors investigations by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office, and others that failed to show St. Luke's had any knowledge of Charles Cullen's actions prior to his confession in December 2003. "Obviously, I feel horrible for them," said attorney Mark Altemose, speaking on behalf of his clients. "These are good people who pursued these cases because they believed in their heart that Charles Cullen had murdered their family members. There was certainly evidence to prove that he did." But Altemose says because Cullen refused to testify that evidence was never told. "Our expert made it clear in the report that information was missing from Charles Cullen," said Altemose." St. Luke's Hospital says it will "vigorously dispute" the allegations made by the seven remaining lawsuits as they proceed to jury trials.

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