$36.7 million verdict against Orlando abortionist upheld
ORLANDO, FL, August 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A judge has denied an Orlando-area abortionist a new trial in a medical malpractice case decided by a jury last month. Orlando Circuit Judge John Marshall Kest also denied a motion by James Scott Pendergraft IV to set aside verdicts for $36.7 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The case involved a 2004 botched abortion at Pendergraft’s facility that left its intended target alive, but severely disabled. The girl suffers from a host of disabilities in connection with the attempted killing, including cerebral palsy, loss of function on the left side of her body, strokes, mental disability, chronic lung disease, and seizures.
It is not clear whether Pendergraft will appeal Kest’s ruling.
During court proceedings, a fellow abortionist admitted that babies are sometimes born alive and left “wiggling around in the toilet” until they died.
The civil suit was launched by Pendergraft’s former client, Carol Howard, who was given RU-486 by a medical assistant to abort her pregnancy at over 22 weeks. Howard wound up going home, but called 911 and managed to give birth to her baby at a hospital.
In January, the pro-life group Operation Rescue revealed that Pendergraft, whose only active medical license remains under a double-suspension order in Florida, had secretly set up shop in the Washington, D.C. area. At the time, Pendergraft held no active license in the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia.
The abortionist has a long history of legal issues that have included four suspensions of his Florida medical license. Last year, the Florida Board of Medicine suspended his license after it found that Pendergraft allowed an employee to administer narcotics to patients without a license, and, although Pendergraft knew the employee had a drug problem, allowed her to order drugs under his name, and prescribed steroids to her for no apparent reason. In the past his license has been suspended for botched abortions, committing illegal late-term abortions, and dispensing drugs without a license.
Also, in 2004, Pendergraft pled guilty to impeding justice while under investigation for extortion.