Blood Thinner Lovenox Blamed in $9M Med-Mal Case

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Kathleen Nastri
Kathleen Nastri

Barbara Lathan went to Bridgeport Hospital in October 2007 to receive treatment for a relatively minor urinary tract infection. Seventy-five days later, Lathan, then 66, was released from the hospital in a wheelchair with her bowels inflated to the size and shape of a bowling ball and protruding from her abdomen. The Southport resident also was recovering from bed sores and a dangerous bacteria-resistant infection.

Six years later, a Bridgeport Superior Court jury last month returned a medical malpractice verdict of $9.3 million against the hospital.

"She went in for what should have been a very short admission and came out 75 days later, altered forever," said Kathleen Nastri of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in Bridgeport, one of Lathan's lawyers.

Lathan's major medical problems began when the hospital gave her Lovenox, a blood-thinning drug administered in doses based on the patient's weight, lawyers explained. Lathan was given doses large enough to treat a 350-pound man.

Lathan, who flatlined twice and was told to say goodbye to her daughter, nearly bleed to death internally.

This isn't the first time Lovenox has been named in lawsuits in Connecticut and elsewhere across the nation. This summer, a state court jury in Hartford awarded $1.65 million to a man who suffered nerve damage after he was given a too-large dose of Lovenox in combination with the blood-clot fighting medication Coumadin while at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Nastri said two other Connecticut lawyers have recently contacted her to talk strategy about their pending cases alleging that Lovenox was given improperly. A decade ago, a Pennsylvania jury returned an $8 million verdict in such a case.

"So obviously it's a drug that needs some attention and knowledge to administer," said Nastri.

In the case against Bridgeport Hospital, Lathan was treated initially for the urinary tract infection with antibiotics and fluids administered intravenously via a tube inserted in the edge of her neck, near the clavicle.

Another plaintiffs lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III, also of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, explained that Lathan developed a blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis, where the IV fluids and antibiotics were administered.

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