Young Adult Sues Sacramento Hospital After Nurses Improperly Place Feeding Tube

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: Garson ultimately had an open laparotomy to wash out the infection. He also had to remain in the hospital an additional six weeks. He claimed that he did experience pain and suffering despite being in a comatose state and having no memory of the event.


On Aug. 22, 2004, plaintiff Rod Garson, 18, a student, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center while in a coma, following a catastrophic brain injury resulting from a car crash. He was either in a persistent vegatative state or a minimally conscious state and hooked up to a gastrostomy feeding tube.

On Oct. 10, Garson was scheduled to be discharged home, although still comatose. As part of the discharge plans, the gastrostomy tube was replaced, and a new tube was installed. However, the new tube was improperly positioned outside of his stomach. Garson was then fed through the malpositioned tube on five separate occasions over the next 12 hours and the feedings went directly into the abdominal cavity, causing him to become septic.

Garson sued the hospital through the Regents of the University of California, alleging medical malpractice. He claimed that the defendant’s caregivers were negligent in malpositioning the tube; in failing to confirm its proper position before administering feedings; and in feeding him through a wrongly placed tube.

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

The defense argued that the tube was properly positioned and later came out, which is an inherent risk with gastrostomy tubes. The defense also claimed that tube position confirmation was correctly done before feeding, and there was no way for the nurses to appreciate that the tube was not in position.

Garson sought recovery of damages for $400,000 in pain and suffering from the infection, surgery and surgical recovery of an additional six weeks of hospitalization, as well as $56,745 in medical expenses for the additional hospitalization.

The defense contended that Garson could not experience pain or suffering because he was comatose.

RESULT: Verdict-Plaintiff
Award Total: $456,745

The jury found for the plaintiff and determined his damages totaled $456,745. It concluded that the nurse failed to correctly verify tube placement before feeding the patient. It found no fault for the doctors incorrect positioning of the tube, and considered that a risk of the procedure.

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

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