Sacramento Medical Malpractice Suit Brought After Woman Claims Failure To Monitor

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.)

INJURIES: Stevenson alleged anoxic brain injury resulting in some worsening of pre-existing memory and cognitive problems, including “flooding syndrome” or being overwhelmed and frustrated after becoming engaged in discussions or activities. She was in a rehab facility for a couple months and fell once or twice while there.


On March 10, 2005, plaintiff Marla Stevenson, 56, a former licensed vocational nurse, was admitted to Sacramento Medical Center for repair of a broken Parkla. She was already being treated with methadone, 720 milligrams a day, for chronic pain related to spinal stenosis. After the knee surgery, she was moved to the regular floor. About 3.5 hours later, she experienced cardiopulmonary arrest of unknown length and cause. She was revived, but had an anoxic brain injury.

Stevenson sued the medical center; its owner; and her doctor, family practitioner Anthony Kerry, for medical malpractice. Kerry settled before trial for an undisclosed amount.

Stevenson charged that the medical center defendants should have had her on electronic monitoring, given the amount of pain medication she was on and given that, in the recovery room, heart arrhythmias were recorded. Also, the surgeon ordered post-recovery oxygen, and he and the ER doctor ordered a preoperative EKG, but neither order was followed.

Stevenson also claimed that the recovery room staff failed to pass information to the floor nurses.

The medical center defendants contended that monitoring is a physician’s decision and could have been ordered by a physician, that the arrhythmias were benign bigeminy, that a recorded ventricular fibrillation was misread by the monitor equipment, and that each arrhythmia was reported to Stevenson’s physicians.

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

Regarding the lack of post-recovery oxygen or preoperative EKG, the defense argued no injury.

Her pre-existing problems had resulted in her being put on disability about a year before the incident.

The defendants argued that the plaintiff experts could not quantify the worsening of her condition at all, let alone how much of it was caused by the medical center’s negligence, if any.

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

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