New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association Verdicts and Settlement Report
PO Box 447
Concord, NH 03302-0447
Case Title: Anonymous v. Anonymous
Date of Injury: May 21-22, 2002
This is a medical malpractice claim against numerous caregivers at a seacoast area hospital, arising from the medical care and treatment of the plaintiff that resulted in her death. At the time of her death, the plaintiff was a healthy, 35-year old, award-winning landscape architect. She was happily married to her husband of 10 years and the mother of a three-year old daughter. On May 21, 2002, the plaintiff was admitted to the Hospital for a planned labor induction following the unexplained intrauterine demise of her second child. Following delivery, the plaintiff began hemorrhaging and was emergently taken to the operating room where the course of her demise began and the medical errors compounded until her death. The defendants failed to appropriately diagnose and treat the cause of the plaintiff’s bleeding following the delivery of her stillborn child. The defendants’ took the plaintiff to the operating room to attempt to stop her bleeding, and, during that time the defendant anesthesiologists with admittedly negligible experience in central line placement, unsuccessfully attempted numerous times to place a central line, puncturing the plaintiff’s intercostal artery and lacerating her subclavian vein as she continued hemorrhaging in the operating room. For multiple reasons, the defendants failed to adequately replace all of the blood and fluids the plaintiff had already lost and they delayed getting the plaintiff back to the operating room in time to treat these conditions via thoracotomy. Following her second surgery, the plaintiff was taken to the ICU where the nursing staff subsequently failed to properly monitor, document or report the plaintiff’s condition, which resulted in false reports of her vital signs to the defendant attending physician. These reports resulted in the defendant doctor ordering the administration of Lopressor, a contraindicated medication. The nurse in the ICU administered this contraindicated medication while knowing it was inappropriate and without reporting the order to the proper chain of command, the medication stopped the plaintiff’s heart from beating, causing her ultimate demise on May 22, 2002.
Plaintiffs: 1) Sex F Age35
2) Sex M Age38
3) Sex F Age: 3
Plaintiffs’ Theories of Liability:
The defendants failed to recognize the cause of the plaintiff’s bleeding, which delayed treatment for her emergent hemorrhaging; the defendant anesthesiologists negligently attempted to place a central line and lacerated the plaintiff’s intercostal artery and subclavian vein; the defendants failed to adequately replace the plaintiff’s blood and fluid losses during their negligent attempts at resuscitation; the defendants delayed in getting the plaintiff back to the operating room for a thoracotomy; the ICU nurse failed to properly identify, monitor, document and report the plaintiff’s vital signs and critical condition and then improperly reported incorrect vital signs to the physician on call and administered improper medications; the defendants improperly ordered and administered a contraindicated drug, Lopressor, which caused the plaintiff’s ultimate cardiac arrest; the ICU Nurse failed to report the doctor ordering a contraindicated medication to the proper chain of command and administered the medication while knowing it was contraindicated and inappropriate; the defendants deprived the plaintiff of the opportunity for a better outcome.
Defendants’ Theories of Defense:
General denials of negligence and assertions that all care provided fell within acceptable medical standards. Several defendants did assert lack of causation due to the conduct of other defendants.
As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiff died. In addition to her extreme pain and suffering in the day before her death, the plaintiff suffered a loss of enjoyment of life; a loss of the chance for a substantially better outcome due to the defendants’ combined medical negligence; a loss of earnings and future earning capacity; and funeral and medical expenses. The plaintiff’s husband, suffered both a loss of consortium and severe emotional distress. The plaintiff’s then three-year old daughter, suffered a loss of her parental consortium due to her mother’s death.
Medical and Funeral Expenses to date: $ 77,542.30
Plaintiff Husband’s Lost Wages:12 Week LOA $11,304.00
Economic Loss to Estate $1,632,500.00
Total Specials: $1,721,346.39
The parties reached confidential settlements after suit was filed but prior to trial.
For the Plaintiff: Mark A. Abramson, Esquire, Kenneth C. Brown, Esquire and Kevin F. Dugan, Esquire