Monday, October 8, 2007

Can Nurses Be Liable For Wrongful Death?

Fred Stein, an 89 year old billionaire with Parkinson’s disease, dies of suspected Stalevo overdose as claimed by the former’s daughter and relatives last August 3, 2007. Stein’s daughter Liza has filed a lawsuit against the former’s caregiver-turned-surviving-wife Norma Stein, arguing that the latter caused the Wrongful Death and Elder Abuse against her father.
Liza and her Los Angeles Litigation Attorney insist that Norma should not only be disqualified from her father’s testate succession, but also be held liable for damages. Norma contends that she exercised due care and was not at all negligent. Liza again claims that Norma wanted her father’s quick death to speed up the probate hearings.
It appears that Norma prepared Fred’s medicines everyday and neglected the prior prescription of her husband’s doctor. Dr. Rosenberg earlier advised Fred to take Stalevo to influence his Parkinson’s disease instead of his previous medicine, Comtan. Fred’s system however failed to respond to Stalevo, so Dr. Rosenberg then recommended a lower dose of Stalevo and Comtan for a week of observation.
Norma let Fred take a high dose of Stalevo and Comtan everyday. Whether it was intentional or negligent on her part is yet to be proven. Fred had a severe heart attack in the morning of August 3 and overdose is the suspected cause of the cardiac arrest. Norma is a member of an expensive nursing home and agency in Los Angeles.
Is it true that nursing homes are all about money-making rather than real advocacy of genuine health care? This appalling article says so. What’s maddening is the appeals court’s refusal to hold said nursing home liable financially to Arlene’s death. Nursing homes guarantee valuable protection and care over our loved ones and should they fall under reasonable standards they should definitely be held responsible.
This gross negligence involves not only physical but also emotional distress among family members – it is but just that wrongdoers be held liable for compensatory and punitive damages. The Stein case is currently pending in court.