Family alleges doc punctured woman's heart during procedure

By Kelly Holleran | May 19, 2010

The surviving spouse and child of a deceased woman claim the woman died after a doctor punctured her lung during surgery.

James Martin and Connie Clause filed a lawsuit May 6 in Jefferson County District Court against Dr. Mohammed Islam.

Martin and Clause claim their wife and mother, Dorothy Martin, was admitted to Promise Specialty Hospital of Southeast Texas on Feb. 20, 2008. During Dorothy Martin's stay at the hospital, she underwent a a surgery performed by Dr. Islam to insert a right subclavian venous central line, according to the complaint.

At some point in the procedure, Dr. Islam punctured Dorothy Martin's lung, causing her condition to deteriorate, the suit alleges.

"She was ultimately discharged from Promise Hospital on March 5, 2008, and ultimately died on March 19, 2008, as a result of complications arising from the iatrogenic injury," the complaint says.

Before her death, Dorothy Martin incurred medical costs; experienced physical pain, mental anguish and suffering; and endured physical impairment, the plaintiffs claim. In addition, Martin and Clause incurred funeral and burial expenses; lost their wife's and mother's care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, contributions, companionship and society; endured mental anguish; and lost inheritance, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs blame Dr. Islam for causing Dorothy Martin's injuries, saying he negligently failed to provide her with proper care and treatment, failed to properly perform the elective procedure, failed to provide proper follow-up care, failed to provide proper post-surgical care, failed to use reasonable care to treat Dorothy Martin's symptoms following her unsuccessful operative procedure, failed to perform thorough examinations of Dorothy Martin in spite of her repeated complaints and failed to diagnose Dorothy Martin's post-surgical complications.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Sandee L. Hart of Orange will be representing them.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: D186-797.

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