DALLAS – LAWFUEL – US Litigation News – An Abilene, Texas, jury has issued a negligence verdict against a local surgeon and awarded $200,000 to the family of a woman who died while under the doctor’s care.
LaJoyce Bailey, 64, of Abilene died in April 2003 after having gastric bypass surgery at the Hendrick Medical Center three months earlier. Jurors in the case heard how Ms. Bailey wanted to lead a healthier life, travel and participate in community theater, which was her passion.
At the time of the surgery, Dr. Richard Frazee of Abilene placed a central line in Ms. Bailey. Eleven days later, the central line was discontinued due to signs of infection. Dr. Frazee treated the infection with a topical ointment only.
Ms. Bailey also developed complications related to her surgical incision, which opened after surgery, allowing fluids to drain and robbing her of necessary proteins that would have helped her regain her strength. Even so, Dr. Frazee kept her on a restricted diet as he did all of his other healthy, post-operative gastric bypass patients. He testified that he treated Ms. Bailey in the same manner as he would any other patient.
Dr. Frazee also prescribed Naprosyn for pain, even though such medication is contraindicated for gastric bypass patients because it can cause internal bleeding. In Ms. Bailey’s case, this created the need for a second central line, which Dr. Frazee inserted through the site that previously had been infected. This line was left in place virtually unused for 37 days as she required no further blood transfusions or IV fluids after the day of insertion.
A directive from the Centers for Disease Control warns against such prolonged placement of a non-essential central line because it increases the risk of infection. Ms. Bailey went on to develop central line sepsis – an infection in the blood – which led to an infection in the lining of her heart and ultimately to her death.
“This is a very well-respected and well-known doctor who has the support of the community,” says Jeff Rasansky of The Rasansky Law Firm in Dallas, who represented Ms. Bailey’s family. “Members of Dr. Frazee’s community packed the courtroom throughout the trial. The fact that the jury saw past that, realized that Ms. Bailey did not get the care she deserved and chose to hold Dr. Frazee accountable for his actions says an awful lot about the strength of this case.”
Mr. Rasansky settled a claim against the hospital prior to trial, for a confidential amount. He was assisted in the case by attorney Robert Wolf and Diane Myers, R.N.
After earning his law degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1990, Mr. Rasansky joined a downtown Dallas firm where he learned the legal tactics used by large insurance companies, hospitals and nursing homes. In 1994, he formed the Rasansky Law Firm. Since then, his firm exclusively has represented individuals in cases involving medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, products liability, overtime pay, and serious vehicle accidents.
For more information on the case involving LaJoyce Bailey, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 or [email protected]