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The Columbus Dispatch - Suits Settled Over Teen's Health Care

A former Upper Arlington High School rower and his parents have settled lawsuits they filed against a hospital and doctors after flesh-eating bacteria led to the amputation of his legs.

Steven "Blake" Haxton, now 21, was a senior captain of the rowing team when pain in a calf sent him to Riverside Methodist Hospital's emergency room in March 2009.

Doctors diagnosed swift-moving necrotizing fasciitis, which can spread under the skin. Within a few days, Haxton was on life support and was transported to Ohio State University Medical Center, now called the Wexner Medical Center. Doctors there amputated his legs above the knee.

Haxton and his parents - Steven A. and Heather Haxton - filed medical-negligence lawsuits late that year in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and the Ohio Court of Claims. The lawsuits named Riverside, parent company OhioHealth and more than 15 doctors.

Ohio State University Medical Center was also named because it employed a physician-in-training who cared for Haxton at Riverside, but the OSU Medical Center itself was not sued over the care Haxton received.

A trial in Common Pleas Court was scheduled to begin on Monday, but the parties informed the court last month that they had reached a settlement. That settlement covers all parties and lawsuits, said Gerald Leeseberg, Haxton's attorney.

The terms of the settlement were not made public.

Haxton is a student at Ohio State studying finance, Leeseberg said.

"He's a remarkable individual," he said.

OhioHealth released a statement saying, in part: "The Blake Haxton matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all of the parties involved. We wish Blake all the best in the future."

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, July 7, 2012, by Jeb Phillips (jeb.phillips@dispatch.com)

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