Family files wrongful death lawsuit against Southeast Community Health Systems

By Michelle Keahey | Aug 31, 2012


NEW ORLEANS - The family of a deceased Tangipahoa Parish man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a local community health center that claims the man's high blood pressure was not properly monitored and led to his congestive heart failure.

Eula Dean Brumfield, individually and on behalf of two minor children, filed suit against Carlton S. Faller M.D., Joseph Freeman M.D., Southeast Community Health Systems a/k/a St. Helena Community Health Center on March 30, 2011 in Tangipahoa Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Aug. 10.

According to the lawsuit, Claude Brumfield was a patient of Dr. Carlton Faller with the Southeast Community Health Systems since 2005. Faller prescribed blood pressure medication to Brumfield from October 2005 to February 2010, and Brumfield did not see Faller for any blood pressure check-up during that time, the suit claims.

In April 2010, Brumfield returned to Southeast Community Health Systems to have his blood pressure medication refilled and saw Dr. Joseph Freeman. Freeman diagnosed Brumfield with malignant hypertensive heart disease with congestive heart failure and prescribed a different medication for Brumfield's blood pressure, the suit states.

At Freeman's request, Brumfield returned to the Health Center on two different occasions to have his blood pressure check. However, on May 29, 2010, Brumfield died of congestive heart failure, the suit states.

The defendants are accused of negligence and breach the standard of care by failing to appropriately treat Brumfield, failing to perform a chest x-ray, EKG, and stress test, and for failing to refer Brumfield to a specialist.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for loss of love and affection, mental anguish and suffering, medical expenses, funeral expenses, interest, and court costs.

Brumfield is represented by David Abboud Thomas of Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens in Baton Rouge.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02063

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