The family of Robert Shearer, who died from peritonitis after his bowels were accidentally perforated during surgery to remove a noncancerous mass, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his doctors at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
Shearer, 68, died three days after surgery in March of 2009. Shearer’s family claim says his doctors were negligent in failing to diagnose that he had a complication of surgery despite clear symptoms that something was wrong.
Shearer had symptoms of peritonitis including excessive thirst and abdominal pain. His doctors apparently failed to investigate the source of his symptoms and instead increased his dosage of pain medication.
Peritonitis is usually diagnosed when the abdomen is rigid, there is fever present, and the patient has symptoms of nausea and or vomiting. If peritonitis is suspected, then surgeos usually perform surgery immediately without other testing.
Washington State has a wrongful death statute which allows the family of a person who had died because of medical or surgical malpractice to recover damages under civil law on behalf of their deceased loved one.
This information is provided by The Farber Law Group, a Washington law firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling wrongful death claims.