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Michelle Simington shows a photo of her father in law before he passed away at 71. By the time Mike learned he had prostate cancer, it had spread to his bones.

Does UT Tyler Health Science Center’s deal with private equity shield doctors from malpractice suits?

A lawsuit claims UT Tyler Health Science Center is trying to pull the veil of governmental immunity over doctors who do all of their work for a for-profit, private equity-backed health care system.

The UT Tyler School of Medicine is seen under construction next to UT Tyler Health East Texas’ main hospital.
Michelle Simington, Mike’s daughter in law, shows a photo of him fishing before he knew he had cancer. “As a nurse there’s no excuse, if you did a biopsy, you are waiting for those results,” she said when talking about Mike’s cancer.

A health system is born

The UT Tyler School of Medicine under construction on Dec. 7, 2023. In February 2020, the UT System announced they would establish a medical school in Tyler.
Attorney Reid Martin poses for a portrait outside of his office on Dec. 7, 2023. “I was so excited when UT came in and I saw orange all around my city,” said Martin, a UT alumnus himself. He wants to take the Simington family’s case to the Texas Supreme Court System.

Governmental immunity?

Dr. Ruben Garcia’s office in Athens, where Mike Simington first visited him, is seen on Dec. 7, 2023.
Michelle and Rodney Simington pose for a portrait outside their house on Dec. 7, 2023. Mike filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Garcia, now his family is continuing with it. “I’m more angry than anything else. I’ve been angry since day one,” said Rodney as he explained his father’s case.

The case continues

Michelle Simington cries next to her husband Rodney Simington as she remembers the last breath of Mike Simington, her father-in-law. “He was my best friend”, she said.
Mike’s cowboy hat is seen in the living room where he passed away. “He’s from that generation where no news is good news,” says his son Rodney, after explaining that since he didn’t hear about his biopsy results Mike thought he was being treated for a UTI.

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