Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bedsores lead to claims

Two new lawsuits allege
avoidable harm from ulcers

By David Baker
Posted Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
234 words

Many of the lawsuits filed against hospitals and nursing homes allege that bedsores developed or were not treated properly while a person was in the facility.

Two of several such complaints filed this year name two area hospitals and a doctor as defendants.

According to a document in the first one, Peter J. Enzien suffered harm at Albany Medical Center Hospital “… when the said Peter John Enzien commenced medical treatment with the defendants at the medical facility in Albany, New York on or about January 8, 2012, the plaintiff was free of any sores or ulcers commonly known as bed sores,” the documents says. But “…while the plaintiff was a patient at the defendant’s facility, the plaintiff developed a substantial ulcer and bed sore.”

The claim was filed in May by attorney Robert Becher of Albany.

The second case names Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and a physician, Sanjiv Kayastha. It was brought by Cherylyn and Joseph McDowell, who live in Warren County.

According to the suit, during two separate admissions Cherylyn McDowell developed a sacral decubitus ulcer after hospital staff “ :…negligently breached the applicable standard of care by, among other things, failing to properly timely consistently and adequately turn and/or alter the position of Plaintiff, Cherylyn McDowell, as to avoid the development of pressure or decubitus sores.”

The compliant was filed in March by the Mills Law Firm of Clifton Park. N. Y.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Death of a salesman

Indications of fatal heart
attack allegedly missed

By David Baker
Posted Nov. Dec. 1, 2014
368 words

The widow of a man who had a heart attack and died in St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, N.Y. has filed a lawsuit alleging that a failure to properly monitor his condition caused his death.

Pamela J. Higgins filed the claim in state Supreme Court, Rensselaer County on July 29 as administrator of the estate of Victor S. Higgins, Jr. of Troy.

Named as defendants are four physicians: Kathleen M. Crisafulli, Stephen J. Sokaris, Claudia L. Quinonez and Robert Boska; three medical organizations: Pegasus Emergency Medicine,  Troy N.Y., Pegasus Emergency Group, and Hospitalist Medicine Physicians of New York.  Also named are St. Mary’s Hospital, Seton Health Systems, Catholic Health East and St. Peter’s Health Partners.

According to legal papers, Higgins was seen in the hospital’s emergency room on July 30, 2012 complaining of shortness of breath, a swollen stomach and constipation.  He was admitted and placed in a bed on a regular ward, where, on August 7, he died.

The cause of death, according to the suit, was ‘…cardiopulmonary arrest, sepsis and anoxic encephalopathy.”

The suit alleges that the defendants “…failed to timely, accurately and property evaluate and diagnose the nature and extent of the decedent’s true condition and failed to timely and properly treat that condition and failed to provide proper and heightened monitoring and management.”

The claim was filed by attorney E. Stewart Jones of Troy.  As has been noted elsewhere on this page, Jones has for several years filed lawsuits with a summons with notice, which provide only a very brief description of the nature of the claim.

But the complaint in this case runs to 13 pages, although only two paragraphs – from which the quoted words above were taken – describe the events surrounding the alleged negligence.  The rest of it is text establishing the relationship between the various parties and the duty of care each owed the patient.

The complaint doesn’t give Higgins’ age, but an obituary notice says he was a 1977 graduate of Lansingburgh High School and for 30 years was an independent salesman for the Friehofer Baking company.  It lists as one of his  survivors his wife, Pamela Higgins.

Representing the defendants is the Albany law firm O’Connor, O’Connor, Bresee & First.