December 20, 2016, PNLR E-Newsletter | The American Association For Justice

December 20, 2016, PNLR E-Newsletter

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Mishandled infection

photo of hand with IV in it

The patient’s estate sued a hospital’s operator, alleging it should have timely admitted the woman and prescribed an IV antibiotic. Suit also alleged an assisted living facility failed to promptly administer antibiotics and timely return the patient to the hospital when her condition began to deteriorate. Allen v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc.
 

Pauline Allen, 89, lived at one of the Brookdale Senior Living Communities. When she developed abdominal pain and weakness, she was brought to Providence Medical Center, where she underwent testing that revealed a severely elevated white blood cell count and the presence of E. coli. Allen was diagnosed as having a urinary tract infection and sent back to Brookdale in a taxi with a prescription for Keflex.

Allen’s condition continued to worsen, and she returned to Providence a day later. She was diagnosed as having uro-sepsis. Despite treatment with fluids and an IV antibiotic, Allen died. She is survived by her three adult children.

Allen’s estate sued the hospital’s operator, alleging it should have timely admitted Allen and prescribed an IV antibiotic. Suit also alleged that Brookdale was liable for failing to promptly administer the Keflex the day Allen returned to the facility and timely bring her back to the hospital when her condition began to deteriorate.

The hospital settled confidentially before trial. The jury awarded $500,000, finding the hospital 61.8 percent liable and Brookdale, 38.2 percent responsible.

Citation: Allen v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., No. 15CV06555 (Or. Dist. Ct. Jackson Cnty. Oct. 25, 2016).

Plaintiff counsel: Kelly L. Anderson and AAJ member David Linthorst, both of Medford, Ore.

Plaintiff experts: Timothy Roddy, geriatric medicine, Vancouver, Wash.; and Craig Thalacker, emergency medicine, Shaik Basha, family medicine, and Susan Grizzle, nursing, all of Medford.

Defense experts: Francis Riedo, infectious disease, Kirkland, Wash.; J. Eric Brunswick, emergency medicine, Klamath Falls, Ore.; and Demetria Haffenreffer, nursing, Portland, Ore.