Maryland Medical System Hit With $10M Malpractice Verdict

A Baltimore jury handed down a $10 million verdict against University of Maryland Medical System last month, in wrongful death claim involving drug administration errors.  Dennis Allen went to the hospital in 2013 for kidney problems. The treatment he received for a related condition caused blood in his stool, which resulted in the removal of his colon and then his death.

Allen was administered Kayexalate. The drug is a sodium polystyrene sulfonate and is prescribed for patients whose blood shows high levels of potassium. Potassium at high levels is known to have the potential to cause issues with heart rhythm.

Kayexalate removes potassium from the blood through bowel movements. The drug removes potassium from blood and moves it into the colon.

Previous studies have indicated, however, that Kayexalate has the potential of causing colon problems. The issue, called colonic necrosis, results in cell death in the colon. It is potentially avoidable.

Family alleges medication errors

Dennis Allen’s wife, rather than medical personnel, noticed he had blood in his stool after taking Kayexalate.

Hospital staff performed surgery on his colon. Allen went into the hospital for surgery expecting that a portion of his colon would be removed during surgery. Instead, the surgery removed all of it.

Dennis Allen died the day after the surgery.

His family’s medical malpractice lawsuit argued that the hospital should have been aware of Kayexalate’s potential risks, and, as a result, monitored Dennis Allen more actively. The plaintiffs also argued that alternative methods of reducing blood potassium, such as dialysis, are safer.

Medical negligence in New York

Though Allen’s death occurred in Maryland, it could have occurred anywhere in the country. In New York state alone there are 116 malpractice cases for every 100,000 residents each year — unfortunately, the #1 state in these kinds of cases.

New York led the country in malpractice cases related to surgery and to treatment. The potential for death or serious injury is always present in these cases.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hospital or clinic setting, you should know that there is a statute of limitations for bringing a medical medical claim. According to New York state law, you have two and one-half years from the date that injury or harm occurred to file a suit for damages. If the injury or harm is due to a course of treatment, the date the statute of limitations begins once the treatment is done.

At The Sanders Firm, we understand the effect that medical errors can have on individuals and families. We have been providing help to victims of medical negligence in New York for close to 50 years.

We are tireless and aggressive advocates with an impressive track record of multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts and more than four decades of trial experience.

Call for a free consultation with a veteran New York medical malpractice attorney today.  We can be reached at 800-FAIR-PLAY (800-324-7752) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.