Man files wrongful death suit against Christus after daughter dies from head injury

By David Yates | Aug 14, 2007

Zora Bowden was struck by a car backing out of a grocery store parking lot. She was admitted to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, where she died a few days later from blood collecting on the surface of her brain (subdural hematoma).

Zora's beneficiary, Robert Bowden, claims that if Drs. Kenneth Wilgers and Kandasami Senthilkumar, Zora's attending physicians, had not waited so long to perform a CT scan on her, Zora would still would be alive today.

Bowden filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital and its physicians with the Jefferson County District Court on Aug. 13.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, after Zora was struck by the car on Aug. 20, 2005, she was admitted to Christus and under the primary care of Dr. Wilgers and Dr. Senthilkumar.

The following day, a neurology consult was order because of "Bowden's decreased level of consciousness," the suit said. "Dr. Senthilkumar felt that the altered mental status was due to pain medication and did not order a CT scan of the brain or any further testing at that time."

The suit goes on to say both physicians failed to follow-up with Ms. Bowden on Aug. 22and 23.

"Bowden's condition continued to deteriorate. Dr. Senthilkumar saw Bowden once again on Aug. 24 and once again failed to order a CT scan," the suit said. "Dr. Senthilkumar subsequently saw Ms. Bowden again on August 25, 2005, at which time he finally ordered a CT scan."

The scan detected subdural hematoma, but it was "too late as Bowden's condition had deteriorated such that surgery would not be of any benefit," the suit said. "As a result of defendants' negligence, Bowden suffered severe pain and ultimately died on August 27, 2005."

The suit faults Christus and its physicians with medical negligence, charging the defendants with allegedly failing to meet the standard of care of an average qualified healthcare provider.

"Plaintiff seeks to recover survival damages for the pain and suffering, and mental anguish suffered by Mrs. Bowden as a result of the negligence and mistreatment alleged in this petition," the suit said. "Plaintiff also sues for the conscious pain and suffering, and mental anguish experienced by Mrs. Bowden in the days immediately proceeding her death; medical expenses, and funeral, burial and other death related expenses."

The plaintiff also is suing for pecuniary loss.

He is represented by Reaud, Morgan & Quinn attorney Trent Bond.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B179-812

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