Man Dies of Infection After Colonoscopy, Widow Claims
FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – In a $25 million medical malpractice lawsuit, a widow claims her husband died from a nasty infection he got while being treated in a Kaiser emergency room, in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
Barbara Whitaker sued Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Commonwealth Emergency Physicians, and several doctors on behalf of her late husband, Robert J. Goracke.
After having a colonoscopy at Kaiser, Goracke developed sharp joint pain from his hips, down, and called Kaiser to make an appointment. The call taker should have transferred the call to medical staff, but, instead, just made an appointment for two days out, according to the complaint. By then, he was in so much pain he could not walk.
Though the lab work done during the appointment revealed Goracke had renal failure and a serious infection, no one told him or did anything to treat his conditions – even when he received the same diagnosis days later during another visit to the emergency room, the complaint states.
In fact, Whitaker says, none of the doctors who saw her husband read the lab report or, if they did read it, did not appreciate it in the context of his obviously deteriorating kidneys.
Goracke was finally diagnosed with a severe infection three-and-a-half days later and prescribed antibiotics, but he was already septic by the time the doctors realized what was wrong. Less than four months later, the infection claimed his life, the complaint states.
Had the doctors done their jobs, Whitaker says, he husband would still be alive.
She seeks $27.15 million for medical malpractice, wrongful death, and willful and wanton misconduct.
Whitaker is represented by Robert Hall with Hall & Sethi of Reston.