Med-mal suit filed against hospital after man dies in auto collision

David Yates Sep. 4, 2008, 10:33am

After being in an automobile collision, Jesus Torres was admitted to Christus St. Elizabeth, where he died from respiratory failure.

Jesus' wife, Margarita Torres, filed a suit on his behalf against the hospital and several of its physicians, claiming the defendants negligently failed to keep her husband alive.

The suit was filed Aug. 29 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show that on June 22, 2006, Torres was taken to Christus following a motor vehicle accident. He was admitted with rib fractures and a left clavicle fracture. Two days later, he died from acute respiratory failure due to multiple pulmonary thromboemboli.

Pulmonary thromboembolism is a condition in which multiple small thromboemboli gradually obstruct the pulmonary arterial tree over months to years.

"Plaintiffs allege and will show that Defendants accepted Jesus as a patient, for a considerable fee, and undertook the further care, examination, and necessary procedures representing … that they were competent and capable to render such care," the suit says.

"Plaintiffs allege and will show that in undertaking the care and treatment of Jesus, Defendants owed a duty to provide her with proper care and treatment."

The suit accuses the defendants of negligently failing to properly assess, care and diagnose Torres.

The plaintiffs are suing for loss of companionship and Torres' past and future mental anguish and medical expenses.

The Torres family is represented by attorney Paula Elliott of the Elliott & Little law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District.

Case No. A182-327

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