Ochsner, doctors sued by mother after daughter’s alleged wrongful death

By Chelsea Partington | Aug 25, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A woman is suing Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and two doctors for their alleged role in her daughter's death.

Joan Minor filed suit against Ochsner Baptist Medical Center LLC, Richard A. Vinroot Jr.. M.D. and Lawrence H. Cresswell, M.D. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on June 23.

Minor claims that on April 25, 2011, she brought her daughter, Jessica, to Ochsner Baptist Medical Center with the following symptoms: pain, nausea, vomiting, burning pain and the inability to eat. The plaintiff asserts that Jessica was examined by Dr. Vinroot, who ordered a urinalysis, UA chemical screen and a UA microscopic screen.

Minor charges that Dr. Vinroot did not review the results of the urinalysis, and diagnosed Jessica with peptic ulcer disease.

On April 30, 2011, Minor states that she took Jessica back to Oschner Baptist Medical Center with continued pain and symptoms regarding her abdomen. The plaintiff claims that Jessica's pain had begun radiating into her chest and neck.

The suit also states that Dr. Lawrence H. Cresswell treated Jessica and diagnosed her with gastroesphageal reflux disease. Jessica was given medication appropriate to this condition and discharged without any workup, screens or testing, says the suit.

Minor claims that Jessica's condition did not improve. On May 16, 2011 Joan asserts that she took her daughter to a different medical facility. The plaintiff states that after being tested, Jessica was diagnosed with Lupus.

The petition states that by May 16, 2011, Jessica's kidneys were functioning at 10-20 percent. Minor alleges that after protracted hospitalization, treatment and surgery, Jessica passed away on Nov. 17, 2011.

Minor asserts that if Jessica had been properly tested and worked up by the doctors at Oschner Baptist Medical Center, she could have been correctly diagnosed and treated, avoiding her untimely death.

The plaintiff further contends that Dr. Vinroot and Dr. Cresswell failed to address Jessica's abnormal urinalysis result and properly review her medical chart, respectively. Minor claims that Dr. Cresswell failed to take note of Jessica's earlier emergency room visit with its abnormal urinalysis, and that he failed to order any additional diagnostic testing.

The defendants are accused of negligence, including but not limited to failure to provide an appropriate standard of care, failure to train, supervise, and/or direct staff to communicate abnormal lab results to patients and physicians.

The plaintiff seeks an unknown amount in damages for wrongful death, funeral expenses, pre-terminal pain and suffering of Jessica Minor and all other attendant expenses incurred in connection with Jessica's death.

Joan Minor is represented by T. Carey Wicker III, of Capitelli & Wicker, and attorney Marie A. Bookman.

The case has been assigned to District A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case no. 2014-06208.

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