Mother claims daughter died from complications of anesthesia

Kelly Holleran Dec. 31, 2012, 8:16am

The mother of a recently deceased woman claims her daughter died following surgery from complications associated with anesthesia. 

Norita Moncus and Melissa Smith filed a lawsuit Dec. 21 in Jefferson County District Court against Anesthesia Associates, Dr. Charles A. Mason, Casey J. Strobel and Christus Health Southeast Texas, doing business as Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.

In her complaint, Moncus alleges her daughter, Loretta Anderson, was admitted to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in Beaumont on Dec. 20, 2010. On Dec. 22, 2010, Anderson was scheduled to undergo surgery, according to the complaint.

Prior to the procedure, Strobel administered anesthesia to Anderson, the suit states. During the surgery, Anderson developed hypotension, which is abnormally low blood pressure, and the surgeon attempted CPR to sustain her blood pressure, the complaint says.

Despite Anderson’s drop in blood pressure, doctors moved her to a recovery room where neither Mason, who was the physician responsible for providing proper anesthesiology services, nor Strobel adequately monitored her, Moncus claims. While Anderson lay nonresponsive in the recovery room, Strobel attempted to extubate her, according to the complaint.

Upon Mason’s arrival 20 minutes later, he determined that Anderson required immediate re-intubation, the suit states. Still, by then, Anderson had suffered irreversible brain damage and died, the complaint says.

Because of Anderson’s death, Moncus and Smith, who is Anderson’s daughter, claim they lost her care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel and contributions. They also lost her companionship and society and suffered mental anguish.

In their complaint, Moncus and Smith seek unspecified damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Craig Lewis of The Lewis Law Firm in Houston will be representing them.

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

Case No. D193-733

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