Family sues six doctors over man's death

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 16, 2012

The wife and children of a recently deceased man claim he died after doctors failed to timely diagnose him with pneumonia and a heart condition. 

Nellie Travis, Lana Cleveland, Lisa Stroop, Leigh Grace and John Travis filed a lawsuit Oct. 4 in Jefferson County District Court against Drs. Sidney Marchand, Sidney Albert Marchand IV, Frank Fasullo, Frank J. Fasullo Jr., T. Randolph Lombardo and Harold Bencowitz.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim their recently deceased husband and father, Bobby Travis, died on Aug. 15.

Before his death, Bobby Travis had arrived at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth on July 29, 2010, with complaints of shortness of breath, according to the complaint. After Dr. Sidney Marchand admitted Travis to the hospital, Lombardo, a cardiologist, and Fasullo began treating him, the suit states.

Still, Bobby Travis’s condition continued to deteriorate, the complaint says. A chest X-ray revealed signs of pneumonia, but it was not until Aug. 2 that Dr. Sidney Marchand requested a consult with a pulmonary consultant, Bencowitz, the plaintiffs claim.

Even with Becowitz on the case, however, Bobby Travis failed to show signs of progress, according to the complaint.

Frustrated, his family decided to transfer him to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Houston Medical Center, the suit states. Once there, Bobby Travis’s physicians performed an echo cardiogram, revealing a heart condition that was exacerbating his problems, the complaint says.

“Although this heart condition was treated and valiant efforts were undertaken to save Mr. Travis’s life, unfortunately, it was too late,” the suit states.

In the complaint, Nellie Travis and the couple’s children claim they lost their husband’s and father’s companionship and society, endured mental anguish and lost his care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel and contributions because of his death.

Before his passing, Bobby Travis experienced pain and suffering, endured mental anguish and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

The plaintiffs seek an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Craig Lewis and John J. Brothers of The Lewis Law Firm in Houston will be representing them.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A193-263

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