The wife and two sons of a 56-year-old man who died in 2013 allegedly as a result of the medical negligence of his nurse practitioner and the surgeon who had performed his gallbladder surgery recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. The defendant nurse practitioner is alleged to have prescribed improper quantities of narcotic pain medications for the man for over a year and that she negligently failed to diagnose his drug dependency, internal bleeding, cirrhosis, and gallbladder disease.
The defendant surgeon had performed gallbladder surgery on the man on January 14, 2013, and allegedly was medically negligent in treating the man before his surgery, during the surgery, and following surgery. The man had gone to the emergency room on January 18, 2013 due to complications from his gallbladder surgery, at which time he was given oral antibiotics and sent home. The man returned to the emergency room on January 25, 2013, was diagnosed with sepsis, and died from the results of sepsis, on February 2, 2013.
The man’s son became suspicious regarding his father’s death after he found large quantities of narcotic medications in his father’s home following his father’s death. The family’s Connecticut medical malpractice lawsuit also names the nurse practitioner’s employer as a defendant, alleging that her employer negligently failed to train and supervise her regarding prescribing narcotic pain medications. Two emergency room physicians are also named as defendants in the family’s medical malpractice lawsuit (a total of 10 defendants were named in the family’s medical malpractice lawsuit at the time it was filed in May 2015).
The defendant nurse practitioner reportedly pleaded guilty in June 2015 to charges that she received $83,000 in illegal kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company between January 2013 and March 2015 in exchange for prescribing a powerful narcotic pain medication typically used in treating cancer patients, which she allegedly prescribed to patients who did not have cancer. The defendant nurse practitioner is scheduled for sentencing in the federal case later in 2015.
The defendant nurse practitioner in the Connecticut medical malpractice case was among the top 10 prescribers in the United States (and the number 1 prescriber in Connecticut) in 2012 of the most potent controlled substances in Medicare’s drug program, having written 8,705 prescriptions for opioids and other Schedule II drugs. She wrote more prescriptions for Exalgo, an opioid, than any other Medicare provider; she was the number 7 prescriber of Oxycontin; and, she was the tenth highest prescriber of Avinza (a morphine product) in the United States.
Medicare data reportedly indicates that 94% of the nurse practitioner’s patients in 2012 received at least one prescription for a Schedule II drug. The Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing reportedly cited the defendant nurse practitioner in July 2014 for providing narcotic pain medications to a patient who did not have cancer, seven times, without personally examining the patient, for which she paid a $2,000 fine and was required to take courses in safe prescribing and delegation of work duties. Nonetheless, she was allowed to continue practicing without restrictions, and there are reportedly no indications that Connecticut’s Department of Public Health or the medical board in Connecticut had reviewed the defendant nurse practitioner’s level of prescribing narcotic medications.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury due to medical negligence in Connecticut or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Connecticut 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.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.