West Jefferson Medical Center and doctor sued for wrongful death

By Kyle Barnett | Nov 9, 2012

Harry T. Widman

GRETNA – A New Orleans man is suing a local hospital and doctor over the death of his wife.

Lionel Nelson, individually as the sole heir and legal representative of and on behalf of the estate of Augustine Nelson, filed suit against Medical Protective Company, Jefferson Parish Hopital Service District No. 1, West Jefferson Medical Center and Pramela Ganji, M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Oct. 2.

Nelson claims his wife Augustine Nelson was obese and had numerous health problems including congestive heart failure, hypertension, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, GERD, thyroid disease, renal insufficiency, cholelithiasis, chronic anemia and breast cancer.

The plaintiff alleges that his wife was taking numerous medications for her medical maladies. Nelson asserts that when his wife visited the emergency room at West Jefferson Medical Center on Dec. 14, 2009 for severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and painful urination she was admitted to the hospital for observation and testing and that her "home medications" were requested by Dr. Ganji, however, the defendants are alleged to have not provided her medications in the proper fashion.

After being on bedrest for nearly two weeks on Dec. 27, 2009 the plaintiff's wife was walked to the edge of the bed by a physical therapist and shortly after standing up she became short of breath, collapsed and was not able to be revived.

Dr. Ganji is accused of failing to provide correct medications, failing to perform correct assessment, failing to perform correct procedures, failing to accurately document medical information, unnecessarily placing and maintaining the deceased on bed rest, failing to arrange for proper physical therapy and failing to continue previously prescribed therapies and medications.

West Jefferson Medical Center is accused of failing to institute a medication reconciliation process, failing to establish an institutional educational program, failing to educate the patient on signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and failing to instruct nurses to encourage the now deceased patient to walk during the bed rest period.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, grief, mourning and loss of society and relationship.

Nelson is represented by Metairie-based attorney Harry T. Widman.

The case has been assigned to Division O Judge Ross P. LaDart.

Case no. 719-672.

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