Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Propofol Overdose Killed 74-Year-Old Ohio Woman

A medical malpractice case may involve multiple defendants. Indeed, when a negligent act leads to the death of a patient, the treating physicians, medical staff, and the hospital itself may all share in the blame for what happened. This is why it is so critical to engage a qualified medical malpractice lawyer early in the process of investigating the circumstances surrounding a family member’s death.

Did Doctors Administer a Lethal Dose of Anesthetic?

For example, a woman from Warren, Ohio, died in March 2018, allegedly as the result of a botched medical procedure. A year later, in March 2019, the deceased woman’s family filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against several defendants, including the hospital where she died and several individual healthcare providers.

Here is a brief explanation of the lawsuit, which is taken from the family’s complaint. Of course, it is important to understand that a complaint is merely a statement of alleged facts and is not conclusive. But it nevertheless gives you some idea of the types of medical negligence that may give rise to a malpractice or wrongful death claim.

The lawsuit states the decedent, Artie M. Williamson, was 74 years old at the time of her death. She went to St. Joseph Warren Hospital, which operates under the business name “Mercy Health.” Williamson complained of “weakness and fatigue.”

The medical staff at Mercy Health decided to conduct an endoscopy to rule out a possible gastrointestinal bleed. In the course of this procedure, the lawsuit alleges, an anesthesiologist administered 80 mg of propofol, a powerful anesthetic. The doctor then administered a second, 50-mg dosage of propofol “three minutes later.” The lawsuit maintains this constituted an overdose, which in turn caused Williamson to suffer a fatal heart attack while in surgery.

If the name “propofol” sounds familiar, you might recall it was an overdose of that same drug that caused the death of singer Michael Jackson in 2009. Jackson’s doctor was later convicted of criminal manslaughter after the Los Angeles County coroner determined “acute propofol intoxication” was the cause of death.

Ohio law requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to attach an affidavit from a qualified professional explaining how the defendants’ actions–or inactions–constitute a deviation from the accepted standard of care. Here, the plaintiffs presented an affidavit from a licensed doctor who “reviewed all of the medical records reasonably available” to Williamson’s estate. He concluded, based on these records, that the actions of Mercy Health and its medical staff “breached standards of care in their care and treatment” of Williamson.

Accordingly, the lawsuit seeks to collect compensatory damages based on the negligence of the multiple defendants who were involved with Williamson’s care, as well as punitive damages.

Contact the Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter Today

Nobody wants to believe their loved one’s death was the result of a medical mistake. But when the evidence suggests that may be the case, it is important to take prompt action. Ohio law imposes strict time limits on a family’s ability to file a wrongful death claim against a negligent doctor or hospital. So if you have any suspicions at all, it is in your best interest to consult with a qualified Ohio medical malpractice lawyer. Contact the offices of Tittle & Perlmuter today at (216) 308-1522 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our medical malpractice legal team today.

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