December 29, 2016

Jury orders UMass Memorial to pay $250K over patient death

A jury ordered UMass Memorial Medical Center to pay $250,000 in damages to the widow of a 78-year-old man who died after being admitted to the hospital eight years ago.

A Worcester Superior Court jury last week ordered UMass Memorial Medical Center to pay $250,000 in damages to the widow of a 78-year-old man who died after being admitted to the hospital eight years ago.

After about two and a half days of deliberation, the jury on Dec. 20 ordered the Worcester hospital to pay damages to the family of George Strom Jr., who died at UMass Memorial after being admitted on Easter Sunday of 2008, said Roger J. Brunelle, one of the family's attorneys.

Strom was admitted for treatment of atrial flutter -- or abnormal heart rhythm -- and congestive heart failure after experiencing shortness of breath and unexpected weight gain, Brunelle said. After the first night in the hospital, his condition worsened, and arrangements were made to transfer him to a critical care unit. But the transfer didn't happen until about 11 hours later, when he was found unresponsive.

Hospital staff then moved Strom to a critical care unit, where he was intubated and developed pneumonia after seven days. He was intubated for a total of 11 days before the family decided to take him off of life support, said Brunelle.

The jury found three nurses who cared for Strom during the day after his first night in the hospital should have moved him to critical care, and their failure to do so was a substantial contributing cause of his death, said Brunelle.

UMass Memorial spokesman Anthony Berry said the hospital does not agree with the verdict.

"We disagree with this verdict and believe the evidence fully supported our position since the defendant providers were found not liable," Berry said in a statement.

Comments

Type your comment here:

Today's Poll What will be the main impact of Worcester's split tax policies?<>
ADVERTISEMENTS
Most Popular on Facebook
Copyright 2017 New England Business Media