Home >  News >  January, 2014

Fatal Cataract Sedation Results in $2.1M Settlement

Patient "inexplicably left alone" and unmonitored before surgery.

Published: January 24, 2014

The estate of a cataract patient whose routine sedation was fatally complicated by negligent monitoring has agreed to a $2.1 million settlement, according to Jury Verdict Review Publications.

Marie Golubski, then 68, was scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on her right eye at the Pittsburgh-area Associates Surgery Center in June 2010. She was prepped and intravenously sedated before being "inexplicably left alone."

During this time her breathing slowed significantly and the medical staff, having neglected to monitor her vital signs, failed to notice that she had fallen into respiratory and cardiac arrest. Twenty-three minutes after the IV sedation had been administered, she was discovered unresponsive and suffering anoxic brain injury, according to court records. She was transferred to a nearby hospital for resuscitative efforts, but died 6 days later.

Ms. Golubski's husband filed suit, citing negligence in failing to monitor her, failing to provide continuous care and leaving her unattended after sedation. The defendants denied negligence. According to a case summary, ophthalmic surgeon Daniel Zimmer, MD, and anesthesia provider Brian Cross, CRNA, each argued that monitoring was the other's responsibility.

In the August 2013 settlement, however, Dr. Zimmer, Mr. Cross, the surgery center and Dr. Zimmer's practice settled the case for a total of $2,125,000 in damages.

Attorneys for Ms. Golubski's estate and the defendants did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

David Bernard


Also in the News...

UnitedHealthcare Accused of Withholding Payments to Indiana ASCs
ACS Improves Its Surgical Risk Calculator
When Small Hospitals Outperform Big Hospitals
California Out-of-Network ASCs Granted $9.5 Million Settlement in United Healthcare Underpayment Case
Cataract Surgeon Can't Be Blamed for Failure of Anesthesia Providers, Jury Finds
Joan Rivers's Docs Accept Blame, Agree to Pay "Substantial" Amount
IMQ to Survey Medicare- and Medicaid-Deemed Surgical Centers

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Surgeons' Lounge: Employment Law

Will Fired Employees Come Back to Haunt You?

Virginia Dermatologist Not Guilty In Insurance Fraud Case

Prosecutors alleged a pattern of misdiagnosis and unneeded surgeries for profit.

Patient's Fall Wasn't Hospital's Fault

Providers were not warned and were not expecting post-surgical collapse, court rules.