City HallWatch: Board backs big settlement in lawsuit

The City is slated to dole out a record $5.1 million as a result of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court regarding care provided by San Francisco General Hospital.

Although the details of the lawsuit and the settlement were not released publicly by The City Attorney’s Office, citing issues of confidentiality, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to accept the terms of the settlement.

“This proposed settlement would be the largest in recent memory involving malpractice,” City Attorney’s Office spokesman Matt Dorsey said.

The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court in May 2006 by John Weatherspoon III and his guardian Barbara Weatherspoon against The City and San Francisco General Hospital.

The lawsuit alleges breach of medical professional obligation when Weatherspoon sought medical care beginning in June 2005. The lawsuit sought medical expenses, cost of the lawsuit, and damages.

Weatherspoon’s attorney Tim Hamilton, of the law firm Walker, Hamilton & White, declined to comment on the details of the case because the settlement had not yet been finalized.

IN OTHER ACTION

Supervisor Bevan Dufty introduced a hearing request to re-examine the city law that requires residents to place their trash cans out of sight after trash pickup or face fines of at least $80.

The issuance of citations by the Department of Public Works has prompted violators of the law to complain.

The law was introduced in 2006 by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who said the sight of the trash cans creates blight in San Francisco.

In August, about a year after the board adopted the law, McGoldrick held a hearing at City Hall and called on the DPW to ensure enforcement.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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