Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 30, 2012, 11:40am

TEXARKANA - The family of an 18-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit that claims the new mother received negligent medical care that resulted in a permanent brain injury.

Ezequiel Torres and Matilde Torres, both individually and as legal guardians and next friends of Mayra Torres, incompetent adult, and as legal guardians and next friends of a minor, filed suit on Dec. 19 in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division.

The defendants in the suit are Christus St. Michael Health System; Christus Health Ark-La-Tex, doing business as Christus St. Michael System, Christus St. Michael Hospital, Christus St. Michael Acute Care Hospital and Christus St. Michael Health Care Center; Dr. Thomas Watson, Gregg Anderson, CRNA and Burnett & Associates Anesthesia P.A.

According to the suit, in December 2010, 16-year-old Mayra Torres presented to Christus St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana at 41 weeks gestation with contractions.

After two hours of labor without progression, it was decided that a Caesarian section would be performed. She received an epidural for local anesthesia but the epidural catheter became dislodged, according to the suit. Torres then received a spinal anesthesia.

According to the lawsuit, Torres experienced severe complications which included cyanosis, bradycardia, decreased mental status and respiratory distress. Ultimately, Torres suffered acute respiratory failure, cardiopulmonary arrest and severe and permanent neurological damage, the suit states.

The plaintiffs claim that the dose of anesthetic used during the delivery was excessive and a smaller dose should have been given.

The defendants are accused of negligently administering anesthesia, negligently monitoring Torres condition, negligently performing a high spinal anesthesia following an epidural, negligently supervising and monitoring Torres’ condition following her delivery, and negligently failing to render safe and appropriate anesthesia care and post-anesthesia care.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of damages of physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disability, mental impairment, physical disfigurement, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, loss of consortium, pecuniary losses, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Laurie M. Higginbotham, Jamal K. Alsaffar, and Tom Jacob of Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham in Austin. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 5:12-cv-00128

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