Husband sues after woman dies at rehab hospital

Kelly Holleran Mar. 31, 2010, 8:53am

The husband of a deceased woman has filed suit against Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Beaumont, Beaumont Rehab Associates, Southeast Texas Rehabilitation Hospital, Healthsouth Corp. and two doctors, claiming she died while a patient at Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital after experiencing extremely low blood sugar levels.

Jackey Asher claims his wife, Brenda Joyce Asher, was admitted to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital on Jan. 6, 2008, and was placed under defendant Dr. Linda Smith's care for continued rehabilitation following a brief period of hospitalization. When she was admitted to the hospital, Brenda Joyce Asher suffered from diabetes and end-stage renal disease, so her previous physician, defendant Dr. Kandaswamy Jayaraj, was called in to consult during her admission, according to the complaint filed March 22 in Jefferson County District Court.

During her stay, Brenda Joyce Asher experienced substantially low blood sugar levels that would drop as low as 38 in the early morning hours, the suit states. Despite the repeated experiences with low blood sugar levels, Brenda Joyce Asher's call button on her bed would not work, and Smith decided to discontinue the bed alarm on Jan. 21, 2008, the complaint says.

Later that day, Brenda Joyce Asher's blood pressure began to increase and she began to complain of shortness of breath, Jackey Asher claims.

"At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2008, Mrs. Asher was found unconscious and unresponsive on the floor near her bed," the suit states. "Tests of her blood drawn at that time showed a blood sugar of approximately 30. Twenty minutes after she was found unconscious, an ambulance was called; however, during the transport to the hospital, Mrs. Asher arrested and ultimately was pronounced dead later in the day."

Because of his wife's death, Jackey Asher suffered loss of his wife's care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, companionship and society and experienced mental anguish, according to the complaint. In addition, he incurred funeral and burial costs, the suit states.

Jackey Asher blames the defendants for negligence.

He is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Craig Lewis and John J. Brothers of The Lewis Law Firm in Houston will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D186-344.

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