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Steib v. Waguespack

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 7, 2014

AGNES V. STEIB, FRANCIS V. STEIB, SR., AND DEAN PAUL GENTILE, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE SUCCESSION OF DEBRA ANN STEIB GENTILE AND IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITIES
v.
PAUL J. WAGUESPACK, M.D., DOUGLAS K. MENDOZA, M.D., WILLIAM H. BAIRD, M.D., THE NEUROMEDICAL CENTER, BLOOD SYSTEMS, INC. D/B/A UNITED BLOOD SERVICES, AND LOTT-SHEFFIELD ANESTHESIA, ET. AL

On Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana. No. C614569, Sec. 24. The Honorable R. Michael Caldwell, Judge Presiding.

Jerald P. Block, Thibodaux, Louisiana, Attorney for Plaintiff/Appellant, Agnes V. Steib, Francis V. Steib, Sr. And Dean Paul Gentile, as Administrator of the Succession of Debra Ann Steib Gentile and in their Individual and Representative Capacities.

Leah T. Therio, Thomas C. Cowan, New Orleans, Louisiana, Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee, Blood Systems, Inc. d/b/a United Blood Services.

Tara S. Bourgeois, Garrett S. Calloway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee, Paul J. Waguespack, M.D., Douglas K. Mendoza, M.D., William H. Baird, M.D., and The Neuromedical Center.

Tiffany S. Pucheu, Vance A. Gibbs, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee, Lott-Sheffield Anesthesia.

BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ. Guidry, J., Concurs.

OPINION

Page 411

[2014 0281 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] DRAKE, J.

This is an appeal from a district court judgment, granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant/appellee, Blood Systems, Inc. d/b/a/ United Blood Services (" UBS" ). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case involves a medical malpractice claim arising from the death of Edward Steib following a lumbar disc fusion surgery performed at The NeuroMedical Center, APMC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the time of his death, Mr. Steib was 70 years old and had a medical history of coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type II diabetes, diverticulosis, prostate cancer, rib tumor, and arthritis.

Prior to surgery, which was originally scheduled for March 7, 2007, Mr. Steib became anemic after donating blood for his surgery at UBS, the blood bank provider for the NeuroMedical Center.[1] The NeuroMedical Center cancelled and rescheduled his surgery to March 27, 2007. During the surgery, which began at 7:00 a.m. and lasted approximately ten hours, Mr. Steib experienced severe hypotension[2] and

Page 412

developed into a state of coagulopathy.[3] In an attempt to correct these issues, the team operating on Mr. Steib placed an order with UBS for [2014 0281 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] additional blood products to be delivered to The NeuroMedical Center.[4] Prior to the operating team receiving the additional blood products from UBS, Mr. Steib went into multi-organ system failure and was transferred to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital (" OLOL" ). Mr. Steib was pronounced dead the day after arriving at OLOL.

Claiming that the defendants failed to properly evaluate and assess Mr. Steib in preparation for his surgery, the plaintiffs filed a claim under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, La. R.S. 40:1299.41 et seq.[5] On May 17, 2012, the medical review panel unanimously concluded that there was no deviation from the standard of care by the defendants. On August 16, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a suit for damages ...


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