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Roark, et al. v. Preferred Professional, et al.

Overdose causes cardiopulmonary arrest

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: $5.9 million Settlement

Case name: Roark, et al. v. Preferred Professional, et al.

Case number: 10CV000746

County: Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Judge: William W. Brash, III

Settlement amount: $5.9 million

Date of incident: Dec. 16, 2007

Insurance carrier: Preferred Professional and IPFCF

Verdict & Settlement: Settled prior to trial

Award: Settlement — $5,900,000 with Charles Stierman

Date of incident: Dec. 16, 2007

Disposition date: June 17, 2010

Original filing date: Jan. 19, 2010

Plaintiff’s attorneys: William M. Cannon, Cannon & Dunphy, S.C., Brookfield

Defendant’s attorneys: Christopher Riordan, von Briesen & Roper SC, Milwaukee; Kathleen Bonville, Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville, Milwaukee

Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Dr. Michael Ward (rehabilitation) Dr. Thomas Hammeke (neuropsychology) Dr. Basil Jackson (psychiatry) Richard Ruvin (properties) LuRae Ahrendt (life care planner) Marvin DeVries (economist)

Defendants expert witnesses: None

Plaintiff counsel's summary of the case: Darlene Roark was admitted to St. Francis Hospital on Dec. 15, 2007 for chronic hip pain. In treatment of her pain, Roark was ordered to receive the narcotic pain medication Dilaudid via patient controlled analgesic (PCA) pump. In changing the syringe of the PCA pump, the nurse at St. Francis inserted a new syringe that was concentrated ten-times higher than the previous syringe. The nurse negligently failed to reprogram the pump for this new concentration.

As a result of the Dilaudid overdose, Roark suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. The cardiopulmonary arrest caused Roark severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Approximately two months after her admission to St. Francis, she was discharged to Sacred Heart Rehabilitation, Clearview Brain Injury Center and Muskego Health Care Center for extensive rehabilitation. During the past 2 1/2 years, Ms. Roark needed several hospitalizations for bladder infections, agitation/anxiety/ depression, botulism injections, swallowing studies and pain.

Her future care needs include treatment with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychiatry, orthopedics, primary care medicine and skilled nursing care.

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