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Family battles Utah hospital in court over man's life

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-24 01:04:35-04

OGDEN, Utah — An Alabama man is lying in a Utah hospital bed on life support. The hospital says he is brain dead, while his family says he’s alive.

Lawyers on both sides started making their cases Friday.

Casey Durham was visiting Utah when he was run over by a truck in Ogden on June 13.

By the end of the month, Intermountain Healthcare had declared him brain dead, and his mother Cheryl Montgomery filed an injunction to keep him on life support.

Friday in court, Montgomery's lawyer called an expert witness who said Durham was pumping his own blood and doing other bodily functions on his own.

"The ventilator only pushes the air in," said Dr. Paul Byrne. "Respiration is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that takes place in his lungs and also in all the tissues of his body."

Brandon Hobbs, a lawyer for Intermountain's McKay-Dee Hospital, tried to discredit the witness from Ohio, saying the doctor doesn’t believe in brain death at all and only has experience in pediatrics.

Hobbs put Intermountain's witnesses on the stand, one of whom said all of the required conditions of brain death were met.

The hearing ran from 1-5 p.m., and they’re scheduled to continue on Aug. 15. Durham’s family says that’s great news for them as they try to find another facility to take him.

As they broke for the day, Judge Noel Hyde encouraged the two sides to keep in contact and try to work together, even though there’s litigation between them now.

In a statement to FOX 13 News, a spokesperson for McKay-Dee Hospital that they can’t comment on the case because the family did not sign a HIPAA document.