Hospital sued for man’s death nearly two years after hospitalization

By Kyle Barnett | Aug 20, 2013

GRETNA – A Jefferson Parish hospital is being sued by the family of a man who claims his death from a heart attack was due to medical malpractice that occurred nearly two years earlier.

Eileen Murphy Ballay, individually, as the sole legal heir of/and as the legal representative on behalf of the estate of/and the estate of Patrick J. Murphy, filed suit against Ochsner Clinic Foundation in the 24th Judicial District Court on June 19.

Ballay claims her husband Patrick J. Murphy was 69 years old on May 9, 2010, when he visited the emergency room at Ochsner complaining of sharp chest pains. The plaintiff alleges upon arrival her husband was mistakenly treated as a low risk patient and scheduled for a catheter procedure the next day after an overnight stay instead of an emergency procedure.

Ballay asserts that Murphy suffered from several medical conditions including hypertension, diabetes, angina, anxiety and depression and that during his stay overnight in the emergency room his condition worsened, but he was not taken into emergency surgery and that between the time he was admitted and that time of the procedure the next day his heart was permanently damaged due to a complete blockage of one of his arteries. After a successful procedure Murphy was released and lived for two more years until he died from a heart attack on March 22, 2012.

The defendant is accused of delay in performing proper medical testing, failing to properly document finding in the medical record, failing to timely provide a inpatient bed, failure of the cardiology staff to properly follow and evaluate the patient, failing to monitor and supervise the physicians that cared for the deceased and failing to timely and properly intervene in deceased’s care.

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

Ballay is represented by Harry T. Widmann of Metairie-based Harry T. Widmann & Associates.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Raymond S. Steib Jr.

Case no. 728-144.

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