Family Awarded $5 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case

A jury who sat through a Montgomery County medical malpractice case awarded the plaintiff, the family of Marvin Summerford, an elderly man who passed away from an improperly placed feeding tube, $5 million in their lawsuit against Abington Memorial Hospital. During the trial, the Summerford family was represented by Kline & Specter of California.

Just before his 89th birthday, Marvin Summerford was moved from his nursing home room to Abington Memorial Hospital because he had started losing consciousness. A feeding tube was inserted to help feed the elderly patient, but during one of his waking moments, Summerford removed the tube. Hospital staff immediately took steps to reinsert the feeding tube.

It wasn’t until x-rays where taken that the medical team discovered that they’d not inserted the tube through the esophagus into Summerford’s stomach. Instead, the tube had been worked down the trachea and into his left lung. At this point, Summerford had been receiving his feeding solution via the tube for 12 hours, during which time it had been filling up his lung cavity, essentially drowning him.

The staff worked hard to resuscitate Summerford but in the end they called his death. The personal injury attorney hired by the family, Michael A. Trunk bluntly explained the process. “Marvin Summerford’s lung was pumped full of feeding solution, in essence slowly drowning him while he was fully conscious and his arms were restrained.” Attorney Drew Warren a member of California’s top personal injury firm has seen too many cases like this one. “You go to the hospital with the idea that they’re going to help you, but sometimes things don’t go the way they should and the result is a potentially fatal personal injury.”

Personal injuries as a result of medical malpractice and mistakes are more common than you realize. A group of researchers connected to Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study that revealed that out of every 1,400 personal injury cases connected to hospital negligence or medical malpractice, 80% of the cases resulted in serious injury or death.

When the patient doesn’t survive, it’s up to the family to file the personal injury lawsuit for them. When you meet with a California wrongful death attorney, you’ll learn whether or not your case is strong enough to prove that the hospital staff either failed to pay adequate attention to their patient, or they made a mistake the resulting in the patient’s injury/death. Most people enough to begin mounting a case if they’re able to prove that they’re medical condition took a turn for the worse after the patient was admitted to the emergency room.

Cases like Marvin Summerford prove that hospitals aren’t infallible.  Someone should have realized that something was wrong with the feeding tube sooner and immediately ordered the x-rays. Had they done so, the tube would have been removed and Marvin Summerford may have enjoyed a great deal more life.

The family will use the jury awarded settlement to pay Summerford’s medical bills and to help them cope with the loss of the family patriarch.


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