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Utah Hospital, Three Doctors Face Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

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OgdenA retired economics professor has filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing McKay-Dee Hospital and three doctors of causing his wife’s death by prescribing and administering an anti-psychotic drug that carries a black-box safety warning for certain elderly patients, according to the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner.

Renuka Biswas, 72, died at the Ogden hospital on Jan. 12, 2015, according to a family obituary. Her husband, Basudeb Biswas, a Utah State University emeritus professor, filed suit May 16 in Ogden 2nd District Court, seeking damages for alleged negligence in his wife’s death.

The suit, which also names hospital parent company IHC Health Services, said the woman was given Haldol for agitation and confusion. But a safety warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Haldol had been linked with "increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis," according to the suit.

Renuka Biswas suffered a head injury in a fall Jan. 5, 2015, and was taken to Logan Regional Hospital, then transferred to McKay-Dee. The suit said she had a history of "persistent confusion and memory issues" and "prior to the incident had sought help for dementia-related psychosis."

At McKay-Dee, the suit said, the woman was "repeatedly administered excessive doses of Haldol," and she became mentally clouded and suffered heart rhythm disturbances, the suit said. "Despite the ongoing signs of an overdose, administration of the drug continued."

Before receiving Haldol, she had been improving and was scheduled to be discharged Jan. 10, but family members found her “in a catatonic appearance” when they arrived that day, the suit said.

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The first step is to hired an experienced attorney to determine if there is a basis under Michigan law to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the lawyer determines that there is valid case, the next step is to have a personal representative appointed by the probate court to file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate, which is essentially the other family members and heirs.

The lawsuit is a legal document, called the Complaint, that is filed at the courthouse and sets forth the legal basis for the claims. This includes allegations of negligence that caused the death. The lawsuit also requests the different types of compensation allowed under the Michigan Wrongful Death Statute.

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Brenda Provost

"The lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. showed concern and compassion after my husband's death and settled my case quickly. I am extremely grateful for their work and would recommend this law firm to anyone who is in need of help."
 
Written by: Brenda Provost
About Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
Date published: 5/11/2016
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