Widow of doctor targeted in Saint Francis Hospital shooting files lawsuit

KTUL-Tulsa - June 10, 2024 5:51 am

Tulsa police respond Wednesday, June 1, 2022, following an active shooter situation at a Saint Francis medical building near 61st and Yale in Tulsa, Okla. Five people died, including the shooter. (File Photo Courtesy: Colton Branstetter)

The widow of Dr. Preston Phillips, one of four victims killed in the June 1, 2022, Saint Francis shooting has filed a lawsuit in connection to his death, court records show.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants, Saint Francis Hospital, Saint Francis Health System, Warren Professional Building Corporation, and Diamond Security and Investigative Services, “failed” to keep the property in a “reasonably safe condition.”

Police said shortly after the shooting that Dr. Phillips had performed back surgery on the suspect, Michael Louis, weeks before the shooting and was the intended target.

Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn, and patient William Love were also killed.

According to police, the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On March 5, 2024, Melody Phillips filed a complaint in Tulsa County related to the death of her husband, with the lawsuit claiming Dr. Phillips died as a “direct and proximate result of Defendant’s individually, collectively or combined negligence and/or a violation of laws of the State of Oklahoma.”

The claim lists alleged security concerns with the building overall and with Dr. Phillip’s office.

It states the Defendants “knew, could or should have known about a lack of security issues in need of repair, upgrade or installation, including locks, key cards, security guards, limited entrance, security entrances on the property.”

The claim references “security issues” with locks and doors in Dr. Phillip’s office that were allegedly not repaired. The suit states in part that the “door into the doctor/patient area from the lobby of where the deceased was killed was negligently maintained.”

A spokesperson for Saint Francis declined to comment on the litigation.

Saint Francis Hospital and Saint Francis Health System have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming in part the petition contains “insufficient legal and factual allegations” to support the plaintiff’s claim.

The motion to dismiss also takes issue with who employed Dr. Phillips.

It’s stated that the Saint Francis Defendants “did not employ Dr. Phillips and were not the owners, landlords or tenants of the specific property at issue” and therefore the Plaintiff “cannot allege any separate, distinct negligent conduct.”

It also is alleged that the “Plaintiff’s attempt to assert claims against the Saint Francis Defendants, as corporate affiliates of Warren Clinic, is an impermissible attempt to circumvent the exclusive remedy of workers’ compensation.”

Melody Phillips is seeking compensation in excess of $75,000 for her husband’s death, medical and burial expenses, attorney fees, and her and her children’s grief.


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