A jury reached a $20 million medical malpractice verdict in an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit in Etowah County on May 18, 2016.
The plaintiff was a 79 year old woman, Doris Green, who was prescribed an overdose of unprescribed opiates when she was a patient of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. She eventually died on October 22, 2011 because of the overdose of opiates.
As previously noted, wrongful death from medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for between 210,000-400,000 deaths per year. Only heart disease and cancer kill more people per year.
Ms. Green was admitted to HealthSouth on June 23, 2011. On June 30, Green’s nurse found her in an altered mental state and her doctor sent her to Gadsden Regional Medical Center for treatment. She was examined and rehydrated, and went back to HealthSouth on July 2, 2011.
A few days later, she was again discovered unresponsive, so she was taken to the ER. But she arrived at the ER in a coma. The doctors at the ER discovered opiates in her system. Because of an overdose of opiates, her brain was deprived of oxygen, resulting in a brain injury known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. She eventually died of a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
Because providers negligently administered an overdose of opiates causing her death, her family filed this Alabama wrongful death lawsuit.