Skull Surgery Leads to Brain Infection and Death, Wife Claims
8-13-2018 17:58:00

SEATTLE (CN) – A Kaiser surgeon’s botched operation allowed infection to enter her husband’s brain, resulting in his death, the wife claims in her King County Superior Court lawsuit.

Maria Dugdale, for herself and as the representative of the estate of James Dugdale, sues Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington as subsidiaries of Kaiser Permanente, Inc., and Richard Hsu, M.D., for medical malpractice, employer liability and loss of consortium.

Dugdale says her husband, and the father of their young son, underwent a mastoidectomy procedure performed by defendant Kaiser surgeon Hsu, an otolaryngologist specializing in diseases of the ear and throat.

According to the National Institute of Health, a mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove areas of the mastoid bone, which is part of the temporal bone of the skull behind the ear. The procedure is usually done to clear infection that has spread to the bone from aggressive middle ear infections.

According to her action, Dugdale says Dr. Hsu “negligently and improperly removed brain tissue from James Dugdale,” and “failed to recognize that they had removed brain tissue and opened a pathway by which bacteria could enter the brain.”

James Dugdale developed an infection of the brain and meningitis, which led to severe brain damage and death ten days after the surgery, the suit says.

Dugdale seeks general and special damages, prejudgment interest on liquidated damages and legal costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by Stephen Hornbuckle of The Hornbuckle Firm in Bellevue, Washington.