'Morbidly obese' man dies after hip surgery, family sues

By David Yates | Jan 26, 2011

The family of the late Bryan Evans has filed suit against two area physicians, alleging the doctors failed to prescribe the correct dosage of medication before and after Evans' hip surgery.

Aundria, Ruth and Eli Evans filed the suit against Drs. Burnet Clarke and John Flower on Jan. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court papers show that on Jan. 6, 2009, Evans was admitted to Christus Hospital for a hip replacement surgery performed by Clarke. Prior to the surgery, Evans was identified as a high risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially lethal consequence of total hip replacement.

Because of his morbid obesity, age and type of surgery, Evans was prescribed Lovenox to prevent DVT from occurring, court papers say.

On Jan. 8, 2009, two days following the surgery, ultrasound test results revealed Evans had life-threatening right popliteal DVT, for which he was prescribed more medication.

The suit alleges Dr. Clarke and Dr. Fowler concurred Evans had received an inadequate dose but failed to correct the error.

The next day, Evens received orders to participate in physical therapy, even though the standard of care dictates no physical therapy until a repeat ultrasound is done to ascertain the size of the clot.

"Allowing physical therapy increased the likelihood of the clot either breaking off and or propagating to the lungs," the suit states. "In fact, immediately after physical therapy, Evans coded and died."

The suit accuses the physicians of negligently falling below the standard of care in their treatment of Evans.

The Evans family is seeking all wrongful death damages allowable under law.

Houston attorney Brian Jensen represents them.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 63rd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B189-196

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