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Hospital exhausts appeals in case of serial killer nurse

Published On: Jan 10 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 11 2012 10:24:20 PM CST

Five families are trying to prove that St. Luke's Hospital is partly to blame for the deaths of their loved ones at the hands of killer nurse Charles Cullen.

Five families are trying to prove that St. Luke's Hospital is partly to blame for the deaths of their loved ones at the hands of killer nurse Charles Cullen.

St. Luke's wanted out of a civil case in the matter but the state's highest court has said no.

The appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the fourth appeal by the hospital.

The judge didn't even agree to hear the case.

Now with all appeals exhausted, St. Luke's lawyers will have to get ready for trial.

Charles Cullen was found guilty in 2010 of killing 29 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania between 1988 and 2003.

He's about to be back in court to face a civil trial for five of those deaths in Pennsylvania.

All of them died while Cullen worked as a nurse for St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network's  Fountain Hill campus from 2000 to 2002.

The families of the victims are taking Cullen and St. Luke's to trial.

Hospital officials tried to get removed from being listed as defendants in the case, because hospital attorney's said the statue of limitations had run out.

A judge denied that claim  originally in 2009.

The hospital appealed the ruling.

Twice in the state Superior Court, one case was heard, the other was not.

Both were denied.

Then attorneys took the case to the highest court in the state, and a Supreme Court judge refused to hear the case on November 30th, and filed the decision in Lehigh County last week.

St. Luke's was removed from a $95 million settlement involving eight other victims of Cullen in 2010.

So now with all the legal wrangling finally finished, a civil trial can begin this year.

A representative for St. Luke's said the attorney could not comment on the case due to a gag order.

The trial is scheduled to start the week of October 29th.