Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Colorado

Medical Malpractice Resulting in Death

Mom-explor.surg.12-22 10:30 am adhesions.A lot of pain, nurses said was gas put stomach, gave pain med.Left at 8:30 surg.had not been up,told going into emerg. surg. Next day still in pain nurses gave enema help lose gas, went in & out of conscious. Surg.took her for 2nd surg.12-23 3:30 pm found two holes he put in colon.She died 12-24-00 4:30 pm.Signed for autopsy, coroner asst. called asked if wanted to sue, said no just want to know what happened.The asst.asked if we wanted to pay $400-$800, said thought doctors should pay still want autopsy.Found out-2 days that the asst.called funeral home said we didn't want it. It was to late to do it arrang. were made. Talked to fam. doc.said surgeon was resposnible for death, Feb.- meeting for that surgery.Said surgeon would not lose surgery rights, would be a lot of changes in surgery & nursing procedures.Dr.upset that the coroner asst.did not do autopsy.Said asst.& wife lost baby that week, no excuse but maybe not thinking right.Accid. happen but my mom died & new proced. just don't make me feel any better the surgon gets a slap on the hand. Supposedly he doesn't have a history of surg. What are rights concerning the surgeon and the coroners assistant?

Asked on 1/05/01, 2:21 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Medical Malpractice Resulting in Death

I cannot tell from your statement of facts precisely what happened. Assuming for the sake of argument, however, that there is some actionable medical malpractice against the surgeon, the hospital and/or others, you ought to consult with an attorney soon.

To illustrate one common issue, many hospitals are state run or publicly funded. Doctors working in such hospitals may have qualified immunity under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. The Act further mandates that plaintiffs provide written notice of claim no later than 180 days after you know or should have known of any alleged malpractice. Often, then, litigants find themselves statutorily barred from bringing meritorious claims simply because they did not act quickly enough and failed to provide the requisite notice to the State.

I would be more than happy to speak to you on the phone and discuss the facts and circumstances of your matter in more detail if you would like; we can give you much better advice and direction with a clearer picture of the relevant facts. Feel free to give us a call at 303-260-6424.

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Answered on 1/05/01, 11:42 am

Anthony DeWitt Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, PC

Re: Medical Malpractice Resulting in Death

It is unlikely that the state medical board will take any action in a case like this, and even more doubtful that the hospital will take any action.

If you want to know what happened, the best way is to consider suing for malpractice. Frequently the way doctors get limited in terms of what they can and can't do, is by their insurer placing limits on them.

Cases are always easier to investigate when the events are fresh. You can feel free to contact me for a free consultation at 888-717-7575.

PS: I am very sorry about your mom's death. To lose a loved one so close to Christmas must have been devastating. I will remember you in my prayers.

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Answered on 1/05/01, 12:50 pm

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