Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Former officer sues hospital over amputations

By
From page A1 | November 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

A man is suing Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento after staff failed to properly treat him, leading to the amputations of both hands and both feet.

Robert Downey, 48, who spent 20 years in law enforcement, including with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, arrived at Sutter Memorial on June 22, 2011, with an infection, said Downey’s attorney, Moseley Collins. His stepson, Nakona Reed, had visited the same physician’s assistant at the same hospital with a very similar infection.

Reed had gone to the hospital for treatment of an abscess on May 12, 2011. He was treated for the abscess and a culture was taken. On May 15, 2011, Reed returned. He was given antibiotics and sent home.

When Downey arrived with his infection, he expected similar treatment. Instead, Collins said, the physician’s assistant merely treated the abscess and sent Downey home, with no culture being made.

Downey returned two days later, and was told everything “looks good,” Collins said.

On July 18, Downey again returned, reporting that his shoulder hurt, and after doing research online, he told the staff that the infection could have spread to the joint. “He told them they haven’t really treated him with antibiotics,” Collins said. “They told him it’s just bursitis. Two days later, he collapses.”

Downey was rushed to the hospital, and “almost died a number of times,” Collins said. Gangrene set in. Downey’s wife, Cheri, made the decision to amputate.

“Had they treated him, he would have been fine. He was not treated by doctors,” Collins said, and the medical school experience “does make a difference.”

In all, Downey had seven amputations — his feet and hands, and three amputations of the legs, ending above the knee on his right leg and below the knee on his left.

However, even “garden variety antibiotics won’t work” with what Downey had, Collins said. It was determine he had MSSA — methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus — related to MRSA, a more commonly known, often deadly infection that is fairly easily treated if caught early. Had a culture been taken, Collins said, Downey would have been put on proper antibiotics still have all his limbs.

As such, on June 19, 2012, Collins sent a 90-day notice of intent to sue to Sutter Memorial, stating that the hospital was “negligent in the examination, diagnosis, care and treatment of Robert Downey and that all such treatment, and conduct was below the standard of care and constituted reckless neglect.” The statement also alleges that the hospital did not properly select, train or supervise those giving treatment in the hospital.

The lawsuit itself, recently filed, stated that, “As a direct and proximate result of the foregoing negligence and recklessness, (Downey) has suffered, is suffering and will continue to suffer catastrophic injuries and loss of enjoyment of life including the amputation of both his arms and both his legs, all to his general damages, past, present and future.” The lawsuit also addresses the damages that will result from medical care, supplies, procedures, nursing, prosthetics, and more, as well as damages done to Downey’s wife as a result of the procedures.

The lawsuit, Collins said, has two goals. “One: To make Sutter take financial responsibility for the harm to this man and his family. Two: To stop the hospital from killing and maiming us all by forcing them to do what they should be doing,” referring to the sub-par treatment Collins said Downey received. He said that “100,000 people die each year from medical errors. That’s equal to 400 airliners. What would people do if 400 airliners went down each year?”

Collins said the lawsuit “is part of a movement to stop hospitals from hurting us. It’s making it safer for all of us.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

  • April MariaNovember 19, 2012 - 9:41 am

    Mr Downey, you and your family are in my prayers. Mr Collins, may God give you great wisdom handling this case.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • samuel pearseNovember 19, 2012 - 11:37 am

    tough tittie said the kittie

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

 
Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 42 Comments

 
Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

 
Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 9 Comments | Gallery

.

Letters

A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 42 Comments

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

 
Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

 
Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

 
COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A10

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10