Fatal opioid overdose results in wrongful death lawsuit

Lake Hospital System has been named as a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit by the wife of a patient who died from acute intoxication from opioids and benzodiazepines. The prescribing doctor, an occupational medicine specialist, is also named as a defendant.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, seeks unspecified damages in a jury trial for funeral and burial expenses, loss of support, mental anguish and loss of prospective inheritance. Her attorney believes that "this is a multimillion dollar case."

In 2010, the woman's husband suffered a back injury at work. He was treated at the LakeHealth emergency room in Willoughby. The physician prescribed opiates to the man, and according to the woman's attorney, for too long of a time and did not spot or treat the man's signs of addiction.

Lake Hospital System, Inc., according to the lawsuit, did not "recognize a rampant prescription overdose crisis" in Ohio. As a result, Lake Hospital System, Inc. failed to create and implement proper opiate prescribing procedures for its employees and agents." In addition, the attorney says that the hospital system should have realized that the physician was not experienced in "pain management prescribing knowledge."

The man was on prescription opiates for five years. The physician doesn't work for the medical system any longer, but is now the director of laboratory services for Signature Health.

Wrongful death lawsuits allow family members to hold people and entities responsible for someone's death due to negligence. An attorney experienced in such cases can provide you with more information on wrongful death lawsuits.

Source: news-herald.com, "Lake Hospital System sued over fatal opioid overdose," Tracey Read, April 04, 2017

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