Posted On: March 19, 2012 by Moseley Collins

Man Has A Fatal Heart Attack Following Over-Dosage of Medication in Kaiser Medical Malpractice Suit

The following blog is provided as an example of a Kaiser medical malpractice lawsuit to aid potential clients in how a lawsuit is examined and conduced. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: Decedent Van Ferry, age 59, a facilities manager and husband to Danielle Ferry, a 58-year-old homemaker, father to Kathy Ferry, age 30, Alex Ferry, age 29, Vanessa Ferry, age 27, and Marry Ferry, age 26, and grandfather to Natalia Ferry, age 9, was diagnosed with Graves disease in 1991. He underwent radiation iodine treatment, killing much of his thyroid gland. As a consequence, decedent became hypothyroid (insufficient production of thyroid hormone) and was started on synthetic thyroid replacement therapy. After several years of taking oral thyroid tablets and having lost health insurance, decedent stopped filling the prescriptions for the Synthroid.

In April 2009, after becoming a new member of defendant Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, decedent was seen by a new primary care physician who referred him to endocrinologist Dr. Valerie Names with Kaiser. Dr. Names examined decedent, obtained a medical history, and prescribed 200 mcg of Levothroid to be taken on a daily basis, with a return office visit scheduled for 33 days later on May 18, 2009. Decedent returned to Dr. Names on May 18, 2009, at which time he informed her that during the previous week he had been suffering “worsening chest pain and pressure.” He had lost 11 lbs, his heart rate was elevated from 72 to 97, his cholesterol was measured at 302, and he smoked a pack of cigarettes per day. Dr. Names ordered blood tests, which were returned the following day, May 19, 2009, after which she contacted decedent and reduced his prescription from 200 mcg per day to 137 mcg per day. During the very early hours of the following morning, decedent died of a massive heart attack.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Names did not follow the manufacturer's recommendations for dosage and administration of Levothroid. The recommended dose for patients over the age of 50 who had suffered from longstanding hypothyroidism (more than a few months) was 10 to 25 mcg per day to be followed within 2 to 3 weeks for re-evaluation and titration as necessary. Dr. Names admitted at deposition that adverse reactions to over-dosage of Levothroid in an individual with longstanding hypothyroidism included a new onset of angina, myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrest. Plaintiffs further alleged that on May 18, 2009, Dr. Names failed to recognize signs and symptoms of a new onset of unstable angina which required an immediate cardiac evaluation and/or referral, which ultimately would have saved decedent's life.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Death.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: Loss of love, comfort and society, along with lost income.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
According to Plaintiff: Demand: $950,000 (last demand prior to arbitration); Offer: $700,000.
SUMMARY:
Verdict/Judgment: Arbitration
Verdict/Judgment Amount: $1,274,204

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.