Community Regional Medical Center settles wrongful death lawsuit

FRESNO, Calif.

Community Regional Medical Center settled the lawsuit for close to the maximum amount under the law. Attorneys for the family members say although the amount does not compensate the loss of their mother, it allows them to continue the healing process.

A family's quest for answers about why their mother died inside Community Regional Medical Center has ended after 10 months. The hospital has settled the wrongful death lawsuit.

"I believe the hospital did the right thing and settled the case early and they settled for the maximum amount. I believe it's a fair settlement given the state of the law that there's only a $250,000 cap," said the family's attorney Warren Paboojian.

Family members say 68-year-old Elena Silva walked into Community Regional Medical Center last December complaining of pain and numbness in her left arm. Sometime during her stay and a routine surgery, medical records show Silva was given too much of a drug called "Heparin". She was given 50 times the ordered amount.

In a statement, Community Regional Medical Center said, "We know this has been a difficult time for the patient's family, and it has been for the hospital as well. The settlement is a fair one. And along the way, we've instituted improved safeguards on medications."

Paboojian said he is satisfied with the steps the hospital has taken to ensure patients are given correct doses of ordered medications. "I think the hospital has reviewed this and is putting in place procedures to prevent this in the future. Fresno Community Hospital is a good hospital and I think that this was just a bad mistake that occurred. They've owned up to it, but it's a good hospital."

According to Silva's death certificate, Heparin toxicity is listed as a significant condition contributing to death.

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