Household Sues St. Charles Well being System for $ 15 Million
Danae Corrine Risch died on December 14, 2018 at the age of 27 after suffering a heart attack while having surgery to remove her gallbladder. Her medical team put her under “for the election, despite a known heart condition” after her parents and guardians gave permission. Now, Risch’s mother, Ginger Caviness, and Mark Risch are suing the St. Charles Health System for allegedly “bad information and inappropriate recommendations” for $ 15 million prior to surgery.
A doctor is holding a stethoscope. Image via Pexels. Public domain.
In the lawsuit filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court on Wednesday, St. Charles surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Mathisen and the anesthetist Dr. Blake Van Meter named as a defendant.
Danae Risch was looked after by her parents because she had a developmental disorder and cerebral palsy. As early as 2009 she was diagnosed with “a rare form of muscular dystrophy and had to use a wheelchair”. On November 7, 2018, she had an operation in St. Charles to remove her gallbladder. The suit notes, “A preliminary chest x-ray showed an enlargement of her heart that should have raised red flags on Mathisen and Van Meter.”
In addition, prior to the procedure, Mathisen and Van Meter allegedly told Risch’s parents that she had fluid around her lungs, but assured them that this is common with gallbladders and is no reason to postpone the operation. From there, Risch was “taken to the operating room and when the anesthesia was introduced, she went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.” Although she was resuscitated and taken to the hospital care unit on a ventilator, she died two days later on May 14 November.
Before the operation, Risch lived with her parents into adulthood, where, according to her mother, she could experience a full life. In 2009, Caviness wrote, “As always, Danae is enviable happy and a social star… She is fun to be with. Danae has a developmental delay as always, but it never affects her personality. She added that her daughter “participated in community activities, volunteered in her church, and had a close relationship with her parents.”
In 2016, a estate commissioner wrote to Caviness, saying, “Your commitment to Danae is evident … you are fortunate enough to have such a close relationship.”
The suit states that Risch’s parents will forever be haunted by their decision to listen to the doctors despite knowing about Risch’s heart ailments. It says:
“They have suffered a lot of negative guilt, remorse, fear, confusion, anger, betrayal, depression and despair because they decided to continue the voting process despite Danae Risch’s heart disease.”
This isn’t the first time the hospital has found itself at the end of a legal battle. Back in 2019, a family sued the facility for $ 26.5 million after a woman died of a breast infection.
Charles sued $ 15 million for wrongful death
Family Sues Bend Hospital for $ 26.5 million after a woman dies from a breast infection