Judge dismisses Sanctuary death claims against Dr. White

TUPELO – Accusations against Dr. Paul White of Tupelo officially were dropped Wednesday in a lawsuit related to a patient’s 2006 death in Sanctuary Hospice House.
Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr.’s order signed Tuesday shows the dead woman’s daughters, Rebecca Dillard and Faye McClain of Georgia, “have resolved their differences” with White and asked the court, with him, to permanently dismiss the claims against him.
They asked for this outcome Oct. 30.
Casey Lott of Booneville, attorney for the daughters of Esther Evans, said that under the terms of the agreement, he cannot discuss whether White made a financial settlement to them to end the litigation.
They continue their legal action against Sanctuary of Tupelo and its former clinical director, Marilyn Lehman.
The Georgia women claim their mother died five days after her admission to Sanctuary because she was administered “excessive doses” of various drugs that caused her to stop breathing.
The defendants deny the accusations.
The case is set for a jury trial Nov. 15, 2010.
In early 2008, a Lee County grand jury indicted White and Lehman on misdemeanors associated with the deaths of 11 elderly patients at Sanctuary.
But each pleaded guilty to fewer counts and were sentenced to probation and fines. Lehman maintains her innocence and insists her plea was just to get it behind her.
The state Attorney General’s Office originally asked the grand jury to indict them on more serious charges, but a spokesman said the jurors’ views were so diverse that the misdemeanor compromise was all they could get.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com. Read her blog, From the Front Row, on NEMS360.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal