BRIDGEPORT, Conn., April 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The estate of a Stratford man who died during surgery at an out-patient surgical center has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, charging the center and his medical team with attempting an unauthorized procedure – and negligently dosing him with 4% Lidocaine, a toxic agent, which was apparently mistaken for another drug.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Bridgeport, CT Superior Court, by Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder, Docket # FBT-CV-15-6049420-S, claims the staff at the Surgery Center of Fairfield County, at 112 Quarry Road, performed more complex surgery on 53-year-old Michael Palmer Sr. than the center is authorized to do.
Michael A. Palmer, Sr., a 53 year old father of eight, was undergoing a cervical spine fusion operation in May 2013, at the surgical center. Although Palmer had asked that the surgery be done at a hospital, members of his medical team persuaded him to have the procedure performed in the outpatient center in which they were part owners.
"This case, like the widely publicized death of Joan Rivers, highlights some of the problems posed by the proliferation of privately-owned chains of profit-making surgical centers throughout the nation," said Palmer's attorney, Michael Koskoff.
"This is one of three deaths that we are investigating in surgical centers in Connecticut in just the past two years," said Palmer's lawyer, Michael Koskoff, "something is clearly wrong with the way these centers are being operated."
During Palmer's surgery, a medical assistant pressed against a blood pressure cuff causing a drop in the blood pressure reading. At that point, the lawsuit says, the anesthesiologist negligently administered the 4% Lidocaine which had been stored in the wrong place. "Hospitals have precautions in place to prevent this type of error," Koskoff said. "This surgical center obviously did not." After the administration of the toxic agent Palmer, a bus driver for Connecticut Transit Authority and father of eight, was administered CPR and rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital where he died.
This lawsuit is against Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC, operator of about 185 surgical centers nationwide and the Surgery Center of Fairfield County, LLC, one of the SCA units, Dr. Sandra Joyce Congdon, an anesthesiologist, Dr. Gerard J. Girasole, an orthopedist, and Dr. Abraham Mintz, a neurosurgeon. Also, named are groups affiliated with the doctors. Dr. Girasole and Dr. Mintz were part owners of the surgical center where Palmer had the fatal procedure, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants violated state regulations by permitting the surgery to go ahead even though it was complex surgery that had not been approved or authorized by the center's governing body. "A conflict of interest may come into play when a doctor has a choice of performing a procedure in his own surgical center, or a hospital," said Koskoff, "unless the out-patient center is prepared for the surgery, the Hospital is a safer choice."
Mr. Palmer, a long-time Bridgeport area resident was employed as a driver for the Connecticut Transit Authority. He was active in Air National Guard, Mount Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport, and a freemason of the highest rank. In addition to his eight children Mr. Palmer left 7 grandchildren.
"Surgical centers may be cost-efficient, convenient and safe. But if tragedies like this are to be avoided in the future, they need to be subject to some of the same controls that apply to our hospitals with increased scrutiny by their administrators and our Department of Public Health." Koskoff said. "Poorly regulated and supervised surgical centers can be dangerous places."
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has offices in Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven and Stamford. The nationally known law firm has achieved record verdicts for people who suffer serious personal injuries or economic harm from medical malpractice, violation of their civil or constitutional rights, dangerous products, negligence, drunk drivers, corporate or governmental abuse and commercial misconduct. www.koskoff.com.
SOURCE Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder