Florida Man Sues Hospital for Wife’s Death, Alleges Fentanyl Overdose
By Jim Greene
Published on January 27, 2010
A Florida man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brandon Regional Hospital, near Tampa, alleging his wife of 39 years was drugged to death. The plaintiff claims his wife was given overdoses of fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain killer, while under hospital care.
Alvie Mosley, of Plant City, filed suit last month over the death of his wife Mable. Defendants are Brandon Regional Hospital, its owner Hospital Corporation of America®, and seven hospital pharmacists. The doctor who prescribed the fentanyl, in the form of Duragesic® transdermal patches, may be added as a defendant when a state-mandated waiting period has expired.
Suit Alleges Medication Was Inappropriate
Mable Mosley was admitted to the hospital with severe shoulder and neck pain. According to the lawsuit, after her pain had been significantly reduced with three other pain medications, Dr. Antonio Zumpano prescribed Duragesic®, which is intended for use only on patients who have developed a tolerance for other opioids. Mosley had not taken other opioids, according to the suit.
Although product label warnings suggest starting elderly patients on a patch that delivers 25 micrograms of fentanyl per hour, the suit alleges Zumpano started with a 50 mg patch, and subsequently raised the dosage to 75 mg, then 100. While the product warnings call for waiting 72 hours to increase dosage, the suit alleges it happened in less than 12 hours.
Label Warns Overdose May Halt Breathing
Possible side effects listed for those without opioid tolerance include respiratory depression and death.
According to hospital records, Mosley developed claustrophobia in an MRI, became nauseous, and choked on her own vomit. The lawsuit claims it was the fentanyl overdose that later caused her to stop breathing and die.
If you have lost a loved one or developed a dependency due to a prescribed fentanyl overdose, contact an experienced personal injury/wrongful death attorney. You may be entitled to compensation to help you deal with the financial and personal consequences.