San Francisco Man Dies at Hospital In San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court. 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, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

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

INJURIES: Vasquez lost his life.


On Aug. 28, 2007, plaintiffs’ decedent Larry Vasquez, 62, retired, was brought via ambulance to a South San Francisco emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath that had been increasingly worsening over the previous several days. He was morbidly obese with a history of respiratory problems including obesity hypoventilation syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which had necessitated his intubation on two previous occasions in less than one year.

While in the ER, Vasquez experienced respiratory arrest and severe anoxic insult to his brain. He died several weeks later.

Vasquez’s three adult children sued for medical malpractice.

On ER arrival, Vasquez’s oxygen saturations were noted to be 88 percent on room air and the emergency physicians evaluated and placed him on BiPap, according to plaintiffs’ counsel. When oxygen saturations did not improve on BiPap and Vasquez became progressively more obtunded, ER physicians decided to intubate. Counsel claimed that multiple attempts at intubation were made by two separate physicians. The last intubation was believed to be placed tracheally, however, yellow fluid was seen coming from the endotracheal tube 13 minutes after the intubation. Physicians reportedly claimed that Vasquez suddenly became bradycardic and ultimately asystolic.

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

Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that the physicians immediately removed the endotracheal tube to start CPR and during the CPR process, ER physicians did not attempt to re-intubate the patient and instead called for an anesthesiologist to perform the intubation. The anesthesiologist arrived about 10 minutes later, and following re-intubation, Vasquez regained perfusing cardiac rhythm within less than one minute.

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

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