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Ky. doctor accused of being unfit for surgery found liable in civil trial

Dr. Michael Heilig was sued by a woman who said she had complications from a hip replacement...
Dr. Michael Heilig was sued by a woman who said she had complications from a hip replacement performed by Heilig just two days before he failed a drug test in May 2018.(WKYT)
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 4:25 PM CST
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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky doctor who failed a drug test after he was pulled from the operating room has been found liable in a civil trial.

The jury deliberated for a little more than three hours before reaching their verdict, saying Heilig did not comply with his duty, which was a substantial factor in causing injury to a woman.

Rebecca Pritchard filed the lawsuit. It’s the first one to go to trial of at least 10 others that have been filed. Pritchard said Heilig performed a hip replacement on her just two days before he failed a drug test. Her lawsuit said she has had complications from that surgery.

The lawsuit claims Heilig was not fit for surgery and should not have been allowed to do her procedure.

This all originated from back in 2018 when Heilig was pulled from the operating room after failing that test. Records we obtained at the time showed Heilig’s surgical team questioned his behavior during his first two surgeries the day of the failed test. During the third surgery, the team stopped the procedure.

Heilig has denied all of these allegations against him.

Of an $800,000 sum the jury awarded to Pritchard, we don’t know how much Heilig will be responsible for paying.

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