87-year-old hospice patient dies, suit filed

David Yates Nov. 22, 2010, 1:17pm

Nearly two years ago, Mary Helen Smith, an 87-year-old hospice patient, died while "suffering festering ulcers."

On Nov. 16, Patsy Monson filed a medical malpractice claim against three health care providers in Jefferson County District Court, alleging Smith received no treatment for the ulcers in her final days.

Gulf Healthcare Center–Port Arthur, Southwest Gulf Healthcare and Harbor Hospice of Beaumont are the defendants named in the suit.

According to the suit, all three defendants were responsible for Smith's care when she died on Dec, 21, 2008.

Court papers show that she was suffering from multiple ulcers at the time of her death.

"All of the conditions arose while she was under the care of defendants and caused by the negligence of the employees of defendants," the suit states. "After suffering pain and the festering ulcers for which she received virtually no care, Smith died."

The suit alleges the defendants should have taken measures to prevent and treat the ulcers.

Monson is suing for general and special damages.

She is represented by attorney Michael McGown of the Benchenstein, Norvell and Nathan law firm in Beaumont.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A188-818

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