Malpractice suit blames nicked colon for woman's death

Kelly Holleran Nov. 3, 2010, 4:42pm

The executrix of a deceased woman's estate has filed suit against the doctor she blames for nicking the woman's colon during surgery, eventually causing her death.

Debra Miller claims defendant Dr. Scott Kacy nicked 79-year-old Helen Gibson's colon during an elective injunial hernia repair on Aug. 8, 2008.

A few days following the surgery, which took place at defendant Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, Gibson returned to the emergency room with a fever, according to the complaint filed Oct. 20 in Jefferson County District Court. She also had passed no bowel movements in the days following the surgery, the suit states.

During a laparotomy performed on Aug. 13, 2008, doctors discovered Gibson's nicked colon, the complaint says.

Miller claims Gibson was eventually transferred to defendant Dubuis Hospital on Sept. 27, 2008, but was readmitted to Christus St. Elizabeth on Oct. 20, 2008, for an exploratory laparotomy.

Gibson remained at the hospital until Dec. 17, 2008, when she was sent home.

However, she had to return to the medical facility Jan. 19, 2009, with an infected PICC line and an ongoing wound vac to open her abdominal wound, according to the complaint.

In the months leading to her May 1, 2009, death, Gibson was readmitted to the hospital several times, the suit states.

During her times at the hospital, Gibson continuously suffered gross abuse, extensive neglect and undue pain, the complaint alleges.

Miller blames the staff at the hospitals for causing Gibson's pain and death, saying they negligently failed to provide her with proper care and treatment.

In addition, they failed to properly supervise the nursing staff, failed to provide an adequate nursing staff to care for Gibson and failed to use sound nursing judgment, among other negligent acts, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Miller is seeking an unspecified judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Clay Dugas and Mike Jacobellis of Clay Dugas and Associates in Beaumont will be representing her.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: D188-642

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