Girardi | Keese

Civil litigation can help some California families recover

Most people realize that no amount of money will replace the life of a loved one lost. But when death occurs because of medical malpractice, hospital neglect or other medical professional negligence, those left behind often need to hold someone accountable. Since these aren't usually criminal acts that can be punished, the recourse to seek compensation from those responsible is the action to take.

To that end, negligence, medical negligent failure to warn, willful misconduct and wrongful death are the claims made in a lawsuit filed by a California woman. The multiple defendants named include a prominent hospital and its affiliates who participated in the care of her mother. The complaint states they allegedly provided kidney dialysis treatments to the deceased using recalled dialysis fluid.

According to reports, the fluid was subject to a Food and Drug Administration Class 1 recall because it found it could put patients at risk for cardiac arrest. This class of recall means there is a reasonable probability of serious adverse health risk or death if used. The complaint claims outside clinics were not warned until an internal memo was leaked.

Reportedly, after several treatments the victim suffered cardiac arrest allegedly caused by the high acid in the products. She died the same day. The plaintiff's complaint confirms that prior to her treatment with the recalled pharmaceutical, her mother was independent, functioning and in no way at death's door.

A preventable medical injury or loss is a difficult thing for families to handle. Civil litigation is an effective means by which liability can be assessed. Whether or not this case goes to trial, an experienced, effective strategy to handle the defendants, their insurers and other pertinent matters will provide reassurance to the survivors. Accountability may be accomplished, and recovery can begin.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Kaiser Death Blamed on Recalled Dialysis Fluid" Tish Kraft, Aug. 14, 2014

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