Wrongful death suit filed after 21 year old dies from ruptured aorta

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 30, 2011, 2:59am


MARSHALL - A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against an East Texas hospital for negligently discharging a 21-year-old man with only pain medication, instead of treating the condition causing his chest pain.

Amber Bradberry, individually and as representative of Jason Bradberry, deceased, and as next friend of a minor child, filed suit against Dr. Lloyd Earl Dodd Jr. and East Texas Medical Center of Henderson on Aug. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Jason Bradberry, 21, was admitted to the East Texas Medical Center emergency department on March 19, 2010, for "sharp mid chest pain" coupled with a headache and hyperventilation. According to court documents, he had abnormal electrocardiogram results and a physical examination that noted "suspect bicuspid AV (aortic valve)."

Although the doctor's exam included a negative abdominal exam, Bradberry was given a mixture of medications to relieve heartburn, an anti-anxiety medication and a narcotic. He was discharged two hours after he arrived at the emergency room with a prescription for pain relieving medication.

Ten hours later, Bradberry's family returned him to the emergency department with no pulse, respirations or blood pressure. Although hospital personnel and physicians performed CPR, intubated Bradberry and provided resuscitative drugs, their attempts were unsuccessful and Bradberry was pronounced dead. The autopsy revealed his death was triggered by an ascending aorta rupture.

The defendant is accused of violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act by failing to stabilize Bradberry before discharging him.

"Specifically, the Hospital failed to ensure and/or establish that no material deterioration of Mr. Bradberry's dissected and/or ruptured aorta was likely, within reasonable medical probability, to occur as the result of his discharge," the lawsuit states.

The hospital is also accused of negligence in their inappropriate diagnosis of chest wall pain, failing to adequately control hypertension, failing to demonstrate knowledge in the signs and symptoms of acute aortic dissection, failing to perform appropriate testing and other negligence in their treatment of Bradberry.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of actual damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of pecuniary value, loss of consortium, loss of inheritance, exemplary damages, interest and court cost.

Amber Bradberry is represented by M. Raymond Hatcher and Alan J. Robertson of Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm in Longview.

A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00374

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