On July 8, 2015, a medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in Arkansas against a hospital emergency room physician, alleging that the physician’s medical negligence led to the drug overdose death of an Arkansas man who had been brought to the emergency room for evaluation after being arrested for being intoxicated in public.
The Arkansas medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that on April 8, 2014, the Bentonville, Arkansas police had arrested the 23-year-old man for public intoxication and brought him to jail. The jail personnel refused to process the man into the jail unless he was first checked out at the emergency room. The man appeared to be so intoxicated to the police that they instructed the man to sit on the floor of the emergency room, to prevent him from falling and injuring himself. As the man was waiting to be examined in the emergency room, his intoxication appeared to increase, he fell into a deep sleep, and it was difficult to arouse him.
The medical malpractice complaint alleges that the defendant emergency room physician (the only defendant named in the medical malpractice lawsuit) assessed the man and was told by the police that the man had ingested 10 Klonopin pills and 8 methadone pills. Despite the information provided by the police to the defendant, and the difficulty the defendant had in awakening the man, the defendant physician allegedly determined that the man’s blood alcohol content was low but failed to administer a drug test.
The malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendant emergency room physician failed to properly diagnose the man’s condition or arrive at an explanation for the man’s condition. Instead, the defendant allegedly advised the police that the man just needed to sleep off his intoxication and discharged him from the hospital, to be brought to jail.
The police brought the man from the emergency room to jail, where he was placed in a cell. Shortly after 5:00 a.m. on April 9, 2014, the jail personnel found the man unconscious in his cell and his skin was discolored. He was transported to the hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator. The man died a few days later after his family had him removed from the ventilator.
The Arkansas medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendant emergency room physician’s negligence in treating the man led to his death. The administrator of the man’s estate seeks unspecified compensatory damages.
If you or a family member suffered serious injury (or worse) due to the medical negligence of an emergency room physician or emergency room staff in Arkansas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Arkansas medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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