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Lawsuits & Litigation

Botched Spinal Procedure Results in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

— September 26, 2019

Dr. Michael Joseph Poss of Virginia Brain and Spine Center was recently hit with a lawsuit over the death of Richard Hart.

When most people go in for surgery, there is an expectation that the doctors and medical team will take care of them. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. A lawsuit was recently filed against Dr. Michael Joseph Poss after a man, Richard J. Hart, died during a spinal procedure. The suit is seeking $7 million and was filed in Winchester Circuit Court on behalf of Hart’s estate and his son, Richard J. Hart Jr.

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Lady Justice and Legal Books; image courtesy of jessica45 via Pixabay,

What happened, though? How much propofol was Hart given? Well, according to the lawsuit, he was given “four injections of propofol, a total of 20 cubic centimeters, in 11 minutes leading to an overdose.” Bowers claims that the last injection of 5 cc “contradicted the recommendations of the manufacturer and the American Society of Anesthesiology.” Bowers said, “it was a gross violation of the standard of care.” After having the last dose administered, the suit notes that “Poss then left Hart with a nurse to treat another patient despite Hart being unstable.”

The suit further noted that there are “time discrepancies between the Spine Center and Winchester Emergency Communications Center on when 911 was called after Hart’s pulse dropped and he began struggling to breathe.” For example, “911 allegedly wasn’t called until 10 minutes after the time recorded by the Spine Center, and CPR wasn’t done until emergency medical technicians arrived,” according to the lawsuit. Bowers also said that “Poss’ documentation that CPR began at 2:57 p.m. was demonstrably false and that an EMT report from the Winchester Fire Department contradicts it. The suit further states:

When staff was asked if there was a pulse, they answered no and when asked why CPR wasn’t being performed, they stated they guess they can do that. CPR was [then] started.”

As a result of the incident, Bowers declared Hart’s death to be gross medical negligence at Poss’ hands. He said, “Mr. Hart would not have died on Feb. 18, 2019, had the defendants [promptly] and appropriately evaluated, treated, diagnosed and intervened [over] his condition.”

Before his death, Hart was a husband with five children. He worked at Manhattan Construction Group as a vice president of labor relations and human resources in Naples, Florida. His obituary said, “his greatest passion was spending time with his children and grandchildren.”


Wrongful death lawsuit alleges malpractice

Richard John Hart, Sr. “Rich”

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