by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Just how much exactly has the Guam Memorial Hospital been paying out in settlements? The case involving Dr. Glenn Cunningham, you could say, was the last straw for Governor Eddie Calvo in making his decision to replace the entire leadership team at the island's only public hospital.
It turns out that GMH has actually been paying quite the price in settlements a majority of which have been as a result of medical malpractice. According to a response we received from our Freedom of Information Act request, in the last five years, GMH has paid more than $2,000,000 in settlements.
In 2007 the hospital agreed to pay $318,000 to Kristina Duenas Espinoza and Carlos Alberto Espinoza for alleged medical negligence. In 2008 the hospital settled a medical malpractice claim with Jasmine P. Castro for $4,500. The following year the hospital settled four medical malpractice cases: $300,000 to Johnny and Lynette Newby; $208,602.40 to Annick Benavente; $16,000 to Betty J. Roberson; and $25,000 to Kevin James Naputi Baza.
In 2010, the hospital settled six matters, one of which was a breach of contract claim filed by G4S Security Services. The others were all medical malpractice claims. Laura Q. Topasna and Joseph Q. Topasna received a $300,000 settlement. Ramon Q. Castro received a $50,000 settlement. $225,000 was given to Roy B. Untalan and Jocelyn B. Untalan. $70,000 was paid to Ernest M. Borja and Christina M.B. Bautista for the death of Hiroko Borja. The settlement with Jeffrey and Charle Fain for an incident involving their son Logan is the latest settlement reached by GMH.