My mother passed away September 27, 2011 due to Small Intestinal Blockage/Respiratory Failure Family needs "willing attorney"

Asked over 1 year ago - Conyers, GA

My mother had been having episodes of unexplained vomiting, several Dr. visits, ER visits and hospital stays - CT scan was done on her last visit to the ER - determined she had a partial blockage(small intestine). She was admitted(Friday) and placed on an NG tube. Her primary care Dr. saw her the next day around noon when we summoned him because my mother was vomiting even with the NG tube inserted. We have since received copies of his initial evaluation and he noted IMPRESSION: Small bowel obstruction, possibly partial according to the CT, but on examination it sounds like it is complete.
Surgery was still not done until 3 days later - by this time part of the intestine had to be removed and she eventually died.
The fact this hospital was all but closed on the weekend was critical/fatal

Attorney answers (12)

  1. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My condolences for your loss. Bowel obstructions need to be operated on promptly to avoid the bowel becoming necrotic. It sounds like that is what happened. I do not know if you are within the statute of limitations or not since I am not licensed in GA. Immediately retain an experienced malpractice attorney in your area to evaluate.

  2. Loraine M. DiSalvo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My condolences on your terrible loss and ordeal. You likely do need to consult a probate attorney in order to deal with your mother's affairs. You also should consult an attorney who is familiar with potential medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, however, since there could potentially be recovery there and that's not exactly a probate matter. Your mother's estate may have claims for damages, but depending on the exact claim, so can her family members directly, so you really need to discuss this with both types of attorneys. I updated the practice areas you listed in hopes of getting you some responses in the non-probate areas. Best wishes to you and your family.

    This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any... more
  3. Celia R Reed

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You want to consult with a personal injury/medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You can use the Find A Lawyer feature on this website. Act quickly as it appears that your time to file a lawsuit is about to expire.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-... more
  4. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

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    Answered . I'm sorry for your loss. You need to see a probate lawyer, and may also find reason to employ a malpractice attorney. Given the elapsed time, see the latter ASAP to evaluate a possible case, as time makes such cases more difficult to pursue.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  5. Robert W. Hughes Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    10

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    Answered . If you are looking into a medical malpractice case, the statute of limitations in GA is 2 years. You need to retain an attorney immediately to determine whether you have a good claim.

  6. Jonathan P. Sexton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Very sorry for your loss. These are difficult cases. I handled one very similar several years ago. Based upon what I recall, ordering of a CT scan and NG tube is the standard of care. The key is whether or not there were symptoms that indicated she was getting worse and the timeliness of the surgical intervention as well as whether or not the failure to perform the surgery caused her death. You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney to allow them to review the records as soon as possible. Georgia's medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date of the misdiagnosis.

    The above is just my opinion based upon the limited facts provided. It is not intended to be offered as legal... more
  7. Roger C. Wilson

    Contributor Level 9

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am very sorry to hear about this. I have had similar experiences in my family. All the responses posted here are accurate and helpful. I have handled a number of medical malpractice cases, including failure-to-diagnose cases. As Mr. Sexton correctly notes, they can be difficult cases. But they are not always so. Indeed the issues here likely will be indicia of worsening condition (so as to provide notice of the necessity of substantially accelerated intervention) and causation (whether the failure to act more quickly or systematically sufficiently caused your mother's death--with an important sub-issue here being what were the details and nature of her condition more generally). I believe this very much merits close examination. I think your answers should appear fairly well from the medical records. As is helpfully pointed out by others here, do be aware of the 2-year statute of limitations. There will be a considerable amount of lead time needed for preparation and assertion of ay claim. Depending upon how long ago this happened, the remaining time in the limitations period can get past quickly. Do move on this quickly if you are inclined to. I would be glad to talk with you about this if you wish. Feel free to contact me anytime. With the others here, I am very sorry for you loss.

  8. Robert G. Rothstein

    Contributor Level 14

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It appears the Ga. statute of limitations on your case may expire as soon as Sept. 27,2013, leaving very little time for a qualified medical malpractice/wrongful death attorney to investigate and, if deemed to be a meritorious and viable case, to file an appropriate lawsuit. You should contact such an attorney immediately.

    Disclaimer: This response is provided to you by attorney Robert G. Rothstein (404) 216-1422 for educational and... more
  9. Paul S Levin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is a certain outrage that can be appreciated with a delay in life saving intervention over a period of time. The statute of limitations is two years in Connecticut though a brief 90 day extension could and should be sought. The list serve rules that Apply here prevent a direct expression of interest in the case. With that said, i do practice in this area of law in Connecticut. Sorry for your loss. Paul

    Law offices of Paul Levin
    40 Russ Street
    Hartford, CT. 06106
    Tel. 860-560-7226
    Fax. 860-471-8400
    Www. Connecticutinjuryhelp. Com
    Email plevin1111@aol.com

  10. James Otto Heiting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry to hear of your loss. Was an autopsy done? What was the cause of the intestinal blockage? What was the cause of death? Many things could be involved in this potential case; and it is important that the family obtain all medical records, coroner and autopsy records and reports as soon as possible. It is also important that an attorney familiar with medical malpractice and wrongful death be consulted as soon as possible. Do not delay.

  11. Fareesh S. Sarangi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I will echo others by offering my condolences. Based on what you have posted, it appears you have a good grasp on the medical issues, and I am hoping you already have all the relevant records. The statute of limitations here in GA will indeed expire on Sept. 27, 2013, and many medical malpractice attorneys will be very hesitant to take a case this close to the expiration (our office typically has a hard 90 day rule where we won't take cases within 90 days of expiration). This is because of the process of having to get records, get a competent review, clarify the legal/medical issues, then get suit filed.

    Having said that - if your summary of the medical issues is correct, this is a slightly more straightforward case potentially (I say potentially because no med mal/wrongful death case is open and shut). From my experience, the standard of care would be the CT, and if the doctor suspected an obstruction (especially a complete obstruction), it should have been an immediate emergency surgery. Again, I cannot really offer you a specific opinion without seeing the medical records.

    As many have shared, it is not typical for attorneys on this site to solicit cases. Since you are explicitly looking for an attorney, and the statute is set to expire, I can look at the records if you contact me this week and get them to me. I am out Monday, but you can contact someone at the office to bring records over, or at the very least get me your contact information by email or phone (my info is listed above). Whether you contact me or someone else, please do so yesterday.

    For more information, contact us at Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always... more
  12. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Have one of the above distinguished lawyers in your state investigate

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