Kyle Barnett Feb. 26, 2015, 4:05pm


GRETNA – The widow of a motorcyclist who died following an accident is suing the hospital that treated him claiming it did not transport him quickly enough or do emergency surgery that could have saved his life.

Debra Upton, individually and in her capacity as surviving spouse of James Upton, filed suit against East Jefferson General Hospital EMS, Ocshner Foundation Hospital (main campus), Jeffrey A. Baker M.D. and Armando Hevia III M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Dec. 31.

Upton claims that her husband, James Upton, was involved in a motorcycle accident on Nov. 28, 2011 and when the emergency medical technicians employed by East Jefferson General Hospital arrived they found him to be suffering from abdominal and chest pain and that by the time he was transported to the Ocshner Foundation Hospital main campus his condition had begun deteriorating.

The plaintiff alleges that just over an hour after the accident her husband lost consciousness and was found to be in severe respiratory distress and that he ultimately stopped breathing and was pronounced dead two hours after the accident occurred. Upton contends that when an autopsy was performed it was found that an artery in her husband’s shoulder had been damaged when his collarbone was broken in the accident which led to blood pooling in the area and his eventual death.

The plaintiff asserts that the defendants did not properly treat her husband’s injury following the accident and failed to rapidly transport him to the hospital and conduct a thorough surgery consultation or provide aggressive resuscitation prior to his death.

The defendants are accused of medical malpractice.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of love and affection, grief, mental anguish and suffering.

Upton is represented by Jaques F. Bezou of Covington-based The Bezou Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division B Judge Cornelius E. Regan.

Case no. 745-515.

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