$4 Million Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Alleged to be Caused by Failure to Timely Call Code

Toni Marie Overmyer, 44, underwent a robotic hysterectomy at Swedish Hospital. After she was extubated in the operating room, the attending CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) allegedly noticed that Overmyer was not breathing properly. She was placed back on a monitor, which showed that Overmyer had bradycardia, in other words, a slower than normal heartbeat. The CRNA then began bag mask ventilation and administered vasopressin and ephedrine, which was designed to increase Overmyer’s heart rate and blood pressure.

The efforts to restore heart rate and blood pressure failed.

An anesthesiologist arrived and noted that Overmyer was flaccid, had dilated pupils, and had a systolic blood pressure of 54 mm/Hg. The doctor called a code, and Overmyer was reintubated. Although her blood pressure and heart rate normalized quickly, she suffered anoxic brain injury and did not regain consciousness. Unfortunately, Overmyer died eight days later and was survived by her two adult children.

The Overmyer estate sued U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Swedish Health Services, alleging that they chose not to provide timely and appropriate interventions. The lawsuit claimed that the CRNA had chosen not to timely call for help by way of a supervisor or hospital-wide code and failed to appropriately administer medication. The estate also maintained that Swedish Hospital employees present in the operating room should have intervened, calling a code or summoning help, and that the hospital failed to properly train and supervise those practicing medicine at its facility.

The estate claimed there was more than $1.2 million in economic damages.

Before trial, the parties settled for $4 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were Nathan P. Roberts and Evan T. Fuller.

The Overmyer lawyers engaged experts in anesthesiology, internal medicine, emergency medicine, health care compliance and economics. The defendants engaged experts in anesthesiology and internal medicine.

Overmyer v. U.S. Anesthesia Partners, Inc.
, No. 20-2-10428-1 (Wash. Super. Ct. King County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hospital negligence lawsuits, nurse negligence lawsuits, wrongful death cases, medical negligence lawsuits and nursing home abuse lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Oak Brook, Wheaton, Carol Stream, St. Charles, Hoffman Estates, Buffalo Grove, Grayslake, Crystal Lake, Bartlett, Lombard, Oak Park, Bridgeview, LaGrange, Blue Island, Chicago Ridge, Hickory Hills, Bolingbrook, Chicago (Chicago Lawn, Marquette Park, Ashburn, Avalon Park, South Shore, Grand Crossing, McKinley Park, South Loop, West Loop, East Garfield Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, Streeterville, Near East Side, Belmont Gardens, Old Irving Park, Horner Park), Des Plaines, Glencoe, Northbrook. River Woods, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Rolling Meadows, Elk Grove Village, Addison, Northlake, Berkeley and Hillside, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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