Sacramento Boy Suffers Brain Damage After Medical Device Fires, Part 1 of 2

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Summary of Facts:

INJURIES: Aaron alleged carbon monoxide poisoning, severe lung injuries and lifelong brain damage. Gregory alleged that these injures were a direct result of the airway fire.


On April 18, 2002, plaintiff Aaron Gregory, age 8, underwent a tonsilectomy at San Jose Medical Center. Treating physician Dan Parrish used a hand-held electrode that was powered by an electrosurgical unit and was manufactured by Medical Corporation to perform the tonsilectomy. While the electrode was in Andrew’s mouth, an airway fire occurred.

Andrew’s Protector and father sued Parrish for medical malpractice. He sued Medical, alleging negligent design and failure to warn in connection with its electrosurgical unit.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Gregory argued that Medical’s device was negligently designed because it could allow two active electrodes to be powered at once, even though Parrish and the surgical technician testified that two electrodes were not in Andrew’s mouth at the time of the fire. Gregory alleged that someone in the operating room accidentally stepped on a foot pedal, causing the device to produce current and then start the fire. Gregory also argued that the electrosurgical unit’s warnings regarding the risk of fire in electrosurgery were insufficient, and that Medical had a duty to retrofit or recall the device.

Gregory said that Parrish’s treatment fell below the standard of care.

Medical contended that the device was similar in design to those of all major manufacturers of electrosurgical units, that it was designed in conformity with industry-wide design criteria, that it met national and international engineering standards, and that it had been cleared for marketing under a 510(k) submission to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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