Lawrenceville, GA—Trial opened Tuesday over whether a doctor bears responsibility for the ultimately fatal heart attack a patient suffered after being disconnected from heart monitoring equipment at a Georgia hospital. Herrington v. Tree Lane Inpatient Services, LLC., 16C00703-4.
According to the case's pre-trial order, Laura Herrington, 75, suffered a heart attack overnight on May 9-10, 2014, hours after allegedly being taken off of heart telemetry, or monitoring equipment, at Snellville’s Eastside Medical Center.
Herrington had been taken off the equipment as part of a discharge from the facility ordered, and ultimately rescinded before its completion, by Dr. Shazia Naib.
The heart attack left Herrington with irreversible brain damage, and she died about nine days later.
Herrington, who suffered from respiratory disease, had been admitted to Eastside on May 4 suffering from acute respiratory failure. Staff treated her for the condition and placed her on a heart monitor.
Herrington’s family claims that, despite the fact that her heart rate jumped to 175 at one point on May 9, Naib ordered her discharge and Herrington was removed from the heart monitor. Naib ultimately canceled the discharge when Herrington had difficulty remaining on her feet, but, according to plaintiff, did not issue new orders for telemetry.
Plaintiff contends Naib breached the standard of care both by ordering Herrington’s discharge and failing to issue a new order for telemetry when the discharge was canceled.
Naib contends the initial discharge order on May 9 was appropriate in light of Herrington’s overall improvement. And the doctor maintains that a pulmonologist who treated Herrington for her respiratory disease did not object to the initial discharge order.
Naib also contends she instructed nursing staff to continue all prior orders when she canceled the discharge, and she believed Herrington would be placed back on heart telemetry.
Trial, in Gwinnett County State Court, is expected to last about five days. CVN is covering the trial, will provide updates via the news page, and will publish gavel-to-gavel video on demand as soon as possible after the verdict.
Plaintiff is represented by Pope & Howard’s Geoffrey Pope and J. Marcus Howard and the Summerville Firm’s Darren Summerville.
The defense is represented by Theodore Pound and Kathleen Simcoe, of Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney.
CVN is covering the trial, will provide updates via the news page, and will publish gavel-to-gavel video on demand as soon as possible after the verdict.