$1.9M Verdict in Endoscopic Surgery Death
Failure to intubate led to fatal airway obstruction.
Published: August 22, 2013
A jury in Gregg County, Texas, has awarded $1.9 million to the wife of a patient who died from complications sustained during an upper endoscopic surgery.
Roy Ross underwent a procedure to repair a Mallory-Weiss tear — an injury to the mucous membrane in the lower esophagus or upper stomach which bleeds but is not usually fatal — at the Longview (Texas) Regional Medical Center in 2009.
During the surgery, Mr. Ross, then 63, began retching. Aspirated blood blocked his airway, resulting in anoxic brain damage. Following the surgery, he was placed on life support for 3 days until he was pronounced dead.
Mr. Ross's wife, Carol, filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the hospital and anesthesia providers Mark J. Williams, MD, and Kenneth Crane, CRNA. The suit argued that their pre-op decision not to intubate Mr. Ross constituted negligence and failed to meet the standard of care. Intubation could have averted the fatal complication, it argued.
While the defendants denied liability and breach of care, the jury's November 2012 verdict found the anesthesia providers equally negligent and awarded Ms. Ross $1.9 million in damages.
Attorneys for the defendants and for Ms. Ross did not return calls seeking comment.
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