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Friday, December 6, 2019

Suit over overdose on pain meds transferred to Harris County

By David Yates | Nov 6, 2012

Hypodermic needle1

In June, John Kimbley filed a suit in the county where he resides, Jefferson County, against the Harris County medical providers he claims caused him to overdose on pain medication. 

Court records show that four weeks after the suit was filed, the parties agreed to transfer the suit to Harris County.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, signed the order on June 29.

All the defendants filed motions to transfer the suit to where the alleged injury occurred, court records show.

The defendants included Dr. Jerry M. Keepers, Advanced Pain Management of Houston, Renaissance Northeast Surgery Center, Renaissance Surgical Center-North and Medtronic.

In his suit, Kimbley claims defendant Dr. Jerry M. Keepers prescribed an intrathecal injection at double the rate he should have, causing Kimbley to become unresponsive and to sustain irreversible anoxic brain damage.

Kimbley claims he began taking the intravenous pain medication after undergoing a trial run from May 24, 2010, through June 3, 2010. Kimbley required the pain medication after sustaining an on-the-job injury at work, which caused him low-back pain, according to the complaint filed June 1 in Jefferson County District Court.

During the trial run, Kimbley was injected with one milligram of morphine sulfate each day, the suit states. At the end of the trial, Kimbley revisited Keepers and informed the doctor that he was experiencing “100 percent pain relief,” the complaint says.

Keepers recommended that Kimbley continue with the treatment and suggested a permanent implantation ofthe intrathecal device. Because of his success with the trial run, Kimbley claims he agreed to the procedure.

The pump, which is manufactured by defendant Medtronic, was inserted into Kimbley on June 22, 2010, at defendant Renaissance Northeast Surgery Center, according to the complaint.

During the surgery, Keepers and a Medtronic representative decided to increase the amount of pain medication that would be injected into Kimbley’s body. Even though the one milligram per day relieved Kimbley’s pain during the trial run, the doctor decided to increase the dosage to two milligrams per day, the suit states.

In addition, instead of morphine sulfate in the pump, staff at Renaissance Northeast inserted Dilaudid – a much stronger painkiller – into the device, the complaint says.

“With Dilaudid being substituted for Morphine Sulfate in the permanent implantation of the intrathecal pump and catheter on June 22, and programmed for an infusion rate of two milligrams per day, Mr. Kimbley was receiving the equivalent of an oral Morphine daily dose closer to 700 milligrams per day – a clear overdosage of Dilaudid,” the suit states.

As a result, Kimbley claims he was found unresponsive the following day and was rushed to Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, where he was found to have suffered from anoxic brain damage and multi-organ failure.

Kimbley alleges negligence against Medtronic and Renaissance Northeast. He also says Keepers breached the standard of care.

Kimbley seeks an unspecified judgment, plus damages, 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 represents him.

Jefferson County case No. D192-524

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