Negligent postsurgical monitoring

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Recent Cases: Medicine

March/April 2014, Volume 29, No. 2

Negligent postsurgical monitoring 

Clarence Randolph, 25, underwent surgery at a hospital and was attended to by anesthesiologist Mark Weiss. After the procedure, Randolph was disconnected from his monitoring machines and, accompanied by Weiss, was wheeled to another room. On the way, Weiss stopped to retrieve his jacket. By the time Randolph reached the other room, he developed cardiac arrest, resulting in brain damage. Randolph had been a minimum wage earner and is now in a vegetative state with little chance of recovery.

Randolph’s mother, on his behalf, sued the hospital and Weiss and his practice, alleging improper monitoring. The plaintiff argued that Weiss breached his duty to ensure that Randolph was responding appropriately after the procedure and that the decision to retrieve the jacket resulted in a six-minute period in which Randolph was unattached to monitoring equipment.

The parties settled for about $2.03 million. Weiss and his practice paid $2 million, and the hospital paid the rest.

Citation: Ray v. Weiss, No. 2010-CP-10-8931 (S.C., Charleston Co. Com. Pleas July 24, 2013).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Richard A. Harpootlian, Columbia, S.C.; and Timothy C. Kulp, Charleston, S.C.

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