A St. Louis medical malpractice case ended with the jury finding in favor of the defendant SLUCare and against the plaintiff after a 50 minute deliberation on Friday, June 11, 2010. Barbara Williams, of Arkansas, was diagnosed with liver disease in St. Louis, Missouri. The doctor, Dr. Alex Befeler, a doctor at St. Louis University Liver Transplant Center, decided that Williams needed a liver transplant, but that due to Medicaid rules would have to have the evaluation and any transplant surgery done in Arkansas, where she resided. Williams eventually died, 6 weeks after the evaluation for a liver transplant began in Arkansas.
Williams’s family alleged that Dr. Befeler should have evaluated Williams himself in St. Louis. Williams had already been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver prior to seeing Dr. Befeler. When she first saw Dr. Befeler, he diagnosed her with cirrhosis with autoimmune hepatitis overlap, and ordered treatment with prednisone, weekly lab work, and told her to come visit once a month.