Some of our Houston readers may know that when a personal injury lawsuit due to medical treatment errors, the plaintiff often sues not only the physician responsible, but also the insurance company as well. This was the case recently when the family of a man who had died after being treated for an accidental methadone overdose sued the doctor and his medical insurance company for wrongful death.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff's son overdosed on methadone in 2010. After the paramedics arrived, they gave the man a substance called Narcan. He was then transported to the emergency room where he was treated by the doctor named in the lawsuit. The doctor then allegedly discharged the man only three hours after he was given the Narcan substance.
The man returned home after he was discharged. The lawsuit then claims that he began showing signs of medical distress. His roommate found him unable to breath and attempted to resuscitate him, but unfortunately he was not successful. An autopsy was performed which showed that the man's death was caused by intoxication by multiple drugs.
The man's parents are suing because they allege that their son was discharged from the emergency room too soon. They believe that if he was showing signs of respiratory problems, he should have not been discharged at all and should have received more care. The parents argue that by discharging their son too early, the doctor made a medical mistake and breached his standard of care.
The parents are seeking compensation for the fatal accident in the form of wrongful death damages and survival damages, as well as court costs and interest. If a jury finds that the doctor was negligent and breached the standard of care for doctors in a similar position, the family could receive compensation for their son's death. Of course, it will not bring their son back, but it could help them afford any costs associated with their son's death and provide them with the financial stability to eventually move past the tragedy they have endured.
Source: The Louisiana Record, "Parents sue Louisiana doctor following son's methadone overdose," Michelle Keahey, April 19, 2013