BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – Ignored pleas for help by a Brandon man and his doctor’s failure to detect a 9-inch blood clot were egregious enough for the state to find probable cause for medical malpractice.
But an obscure, 30-year-old Florida statute known as the “free kill law” stops Keith Davis’s daughter from bringing Doctor Rathinam Krishnamoorthy to court for any sort of monetary punishment.
“There’s no accountability,” Sabrina Davis said.
Krishnamoorthy, known to his patients as Dr. Moorthy, “failed to assess and treat [Davis’s] elevated risk” for blood clots, according to a Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) Administrative Complaint filed last month.
“Like I said, still won’t point up,” Keith Davis said in a video of his leg he sent to his daughter. “It still hurts really bad.”
Davis, who was 62, went to Brandon Regional Hospital on Oct. 10, 2020, with knee pain, and according to his daughter, he warned nurses and Moorthy about his blood clot history.
“The doctor knew about it. He had treated him for two years,” Davis said. “He accepted payment from medical insurance for treating him.”
Three days after sending the video to his daughter, Davis was dead. His daughter reflected on her dad telling her the only thing that kept him going while he was serving in the Navy was coming home to her.
“And for him to go in the hospital for knee pain and not come home to me?” his daughter said. “That’s wrong.”
Moorthy said he could not comment at this time about the administrative complaint.
Davis campaigned to change the law that stops children older than 25 from suing for medical malpractice involving divorced or widowed parents. The law also stops parents from filing claims in cases involving children older than 25.
For the second year in a row, bills that would’ve repealed the examptions did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a vote. Committee chairman Danny Burgess, a republican from Zephyrhills, has declined multiple interview requests to discuss why the bills have stalled again.
He told Florida Politics the committee deferred action on the bill “to make sure if this issue is to come back it’s ready for prime time.” Burgess told the publication while changes are needed in the state’s malpractice law, the proposed measure was too broad.
“There’s truly a gap that could be filled,” Burgess said. “What we didn’t want to do is open the floodgate.”
Davis and others blame healthcare firm campaign contributions for the stalled measure.
“Legislators are supposed to work for the people,” Davis said. “They’re not showing that.”
The recent FLDOH decision rubbed salt in Davis’s wound.
The document states there’s probable cause to believe Moorthy “fell below the standard of care in his treatment.”
“Based on the foregoing, [Moorthy] violated Florida Statutes by committing medical malpractice,” the complaint states.
Making it more painful, a text from Davis on his death bed, claiming Moorthy was “washing his hands of the whole thing.”
“I could be sitting here with a blood clot and Moorthy doesn’t even care,” Sabrina Davis said, recalling the message. “Three days later my dad was dead.”
But the malpractice allegations do not matter. Without changes, the “free kill law” won’t allow Davis or any child older than 25 to sue in cases like this.
“He fought for me, he fought for this country,” Davis said, fighting back tears. “And I will never stop fighting to change this.”