Louisiana Record

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Ochsner sued by family of man who died after allegedly not being able to afford proper heart treatment

By Louisiana Record reports | Apr 3, 2015


GRETNA – A local hospital is being sued by the survivors of a man who allegedly died after being refused proper care when Medicaid would not pay for his treatment.

Connie Stephens, individually and on behalf of her deceased husband Barry Stephens; Lakeisha Taylor; Dominique Taylor; Terrence Taylor and Jaris Kingsby filed suit against Ochsner Medical Center and Stacy A. Mandras M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 9.

Stephens contends her husband Barry Stephens, who was father to the other plaintiffs, was 49-years-old when he visited the Willis Knighton Pierremont Health Center in Shreveport on Oct. 20, 2011 complaining of persistent chest pain that had lasted for three days. The plaintiffs assert that upon being hospitalized it was discovered he had heart problems for which an intra-aortic balloon pump was implanted and he was placed on several medications to treat his heart condition, including aspirin, an inhaler, insulin, Lipitor, Peridex, Plavix and Heparin.

On Oct. 26, 2011 Barry Stephens was purportedly transferred to Ochsner Medical Center to be evaluated for a heart transplant and to be provided with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a device attached to his heart to assist with blood circulation. The plaintiffs claim while they were initially told by Ochsner that payment for the LVAD had been authorized by Medicaid, on Nov. 3, 2011 Medicaid told them they would not pay for the LVAD. Ochsner allegedly knew that without the treatment Barry Stephens would die, but refused to provide him with the LVAD placement and associated treatment and care. After allegedly being refused proper care by Ochsner Barry Stephens died on Nov. 12, 2011 from cardiac damage and organ failure.

The defendant is accused of medical malpractice.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for mental anguish, emotional anguish, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost support, loss of chance of survival, survival damages, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of household services.

Stephens is represented by attorney Susan E. Hamm of Shreveport.

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

Case no. 746-554.

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