Quadriplegic patient sues UK surgeon stripped of clinical privileges; says doctor cursed at him

Dr. Paul Kearney
said  Capilouto's apology "is too late and not enough."
Dr. Paul Kearney said Capilouto's apology "is too late and not enough." Herald-Leader

A former patient is suing a University of Kentucky surgeon who was recently stripped of his clinical privileges for alleged verbal abuse of patients, students and co-workers over many years.

James Wilson of Paris filed a lawsuit against Paul Kearney on Sept. 3 in Fayette Circuit Court for what Wilson says was pain and suffering caused by Kearney during a medical procedure.

On Sept. 3, 2014, Wilson, who had lost the use of his arms and legs in an accident, was at UK Chandler Hospital to get an endoscopic tube inserted through his throat and into his stomach. Although initially sedated, the lawsuit says, Wilson regained consciousness during repeated attempts to insert the tube.

Wilson said he begged Kearney to stop the procedure, but Kearney continued with it and called him a "f---ing idiot and a "f---ing quad."

The lawsuit alleged that Kearney's conduct was "outrageous and intolerable in that it offends the generally accepted societal standards of decency and morality," and that it caused severe emotional and psychological distress.

Wilson is seeking punitive and compensatory damages.

Although unnamed, Wilson's case was cited by UK administrators in their arguments to strip Kearney's clinical privileges. A committee of the UK Board of Trustees upheld the proposed revocation Aug. 23.

Wilson's family complained about Kearney's treatment shortly after the incident, and Kearney was suspended in January after an initial investigation.

Kearney declined to comment Thursday, saying he had not seen the lawsuit.

He has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against UK, saying he was punished for questioning the finances of UK HealthCare under Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs.

Officials with UK, which was not named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

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