Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Drug Overdose Deaths and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Posted Monday, September 25, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Drug overdose deaths increased by 19% between 2015 and 2016, according to data compiled by The New York Times. This problem does not appear to be improving. In fact, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50.

While much of the blame falls on recreational drug use and addiction, medication errors and accidental overdoses in hospitals are another contributing factor. A 2016 study found that medical errors in hospitals and other health care facilities could be the third-leading cause of death in United States, causing 251,000 deaths every year.

*Medication Error and Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in North Carolina*In 2012, a 40-year-old veteran went to the Asheville VA Medical Center for what he thought was the flu. Doctors diagnosed him with diverticulitis and a small perforation in his bowel, and he was admitted to the hospital.

It was a busy time for Jason Powell and his family, who had literally just moved to Asheville. His wife left him overnight at the hospital so that she could wait for the moving truck. When she returned the next evening she learned that he had been moved unexpectedly to the intensive care unit.

Powell had been prescribed 1 milligram of a powerful opiate every four hours, but his medical records show that twice he was given 4 milligrams. Doctors found him unresponsive after the overdose, and he later died.

Jason Powell’s wife remembered that the ICU attending doctor admitted the error. “He said, ‘Mrs. Powell, I have to tell you, morally and ethically, I need you to know that there was an error in your husband’s care. There was a medication error. Not just once but twice,’ Jennifer Powell recalled.”

She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in federal court in 2013, which settled out of court in 2015. The hospital did not have to admit liability as part of the settlement.

*Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Washington*What happened to Jason Powell can happen in any hospital, in any state. That is why it is important that you know your rights and responsibilities.

Washington law sets a three-year statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. That means you have three years from the date of the injury, or the date of your loved one’s passing, to file a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit. If the injury is not readily apparent, you have one year from the date the injury is discovered to file a lawsuit.

If the victim is a minor (someone under the age of 18), a parent or legal guardian can file on his or her behalf. The child can also wait until his or her 18th birthday, no matter when the injury occurred (i.e., even if the injury happened more than three years ago). But the child must file the lawsuit within one year of his or her 18th birthday.

You may sue for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other related damages. Note that there is no cap on the amount of noneconomic damages (emotional distress) that you can receive.

*Contact Us Today*Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you or a loved one have been injured by any type of medical malpractice. Our experienced attorneys will help you recover compensation for your injuries.