This was a misdiagnosis case resulting in the wrongful death of a 58-year-old La Junta woman. Plaintiff's wife had elective, parathyroid surgery under general anesthesia to improve an elevated blood calcium level. After successful surgery, in the recovery room she was disoriented and exhibiting highly abnormal behavior, i.e. flailing and thrashing, she was incoherent and unable to speak. Her doctors diagnosed her as having a rare, but benign, reaction to the methylene blue dye used to stain her parathyroid glands during surgery. She was placed in soft restraints and discharged from the recovery room to a med/surg nursing floor. There her abnormal mental and physical behavior continued for 16 hours. She developed a fever that rose overnight. Despite two calls from a nurse to the defendant-doctor "on call" about her worsening condition in the early morning hours, she was not transferred to the ICU until after 8:00 the next morning. There, she was diagnosed with and died from, serotonin syndrome. Her husband-widower and four adult daughters brought this action for damages claiming medical malpractice that resulted in her wrongful death.
This case was brought against the three treating physicians and the hospital. Gary S. Craw represented the husband and daughters of the deceased. This case involved a second, re-trial after a verdict for all three defendants following a three week trial in February 2010. That trial outcome was appealed by Gaddis, Herd, Craw & Adams, P.C. and the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for a second trial.