Family Awarded $340,000 for Doctor’s Negligence

Family Awarded $340,000 for Doctor’s Negligence

A California family has been awarded $340,000 for the wrongful death of 41-year-old Michael Woodie, who bled to death after a routine gallbladder surgery. 

Woodie, a well-known basketball coach in his community, was admitted to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital on May 20, 2003 due to severe pain and loss of appetite because of a gallbladder condition. 

The patient however, had previously suffered two heart attacks in 2002 and was taking two medications to prevent blood clotting at the time of his admission to the hospital. 

According to the lawsuit, Dr. James Smith failed to wait the appropriate amount of time to perform the “elective” surgery on Woodie after taking him off the medication Plavix. 

The manufacturer of the anti-blood clotting medication recommends a minimum of 5-days between discontinuation of the medication and any surgery.  Dr. Smith however, only allowed a three-day period for Plavix to leave the patient’s system.

“There was no medical urgency justifying the shortened time,” commented Woodie’s attorney Stephen Fredkin. “One day in the ICU (intensive care unit) should have been ordered by Dr. Smith, and Mr. Woodie would be alive today.” 

Fredkin also argued on behalf of the Woodie family that the doctor failed to provide adequate monitoring of Mr. Woodie’s condition after the surgery, which ultimately led to his wrongful death. 

Dr. Smith’s attorney Barry Mash unsuccessfully defended his client by accusing the hospitals’ nurses of neglecting to provide adequate information regarding Woodie’s serious condition.

Michael Woodie bled to death only ten hours after the completion of his surgery. 

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