On behalf of Susan Brewer’s family, the Terry Law Firm filed a wrongful death lawsuit against BBW Management Group, LLC d/b/a Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center, Chantri Trinh, M.D., Geromed, LLC and Ozark LTC, LLC. Susan Brewer died on June 10, 2019 due to Methotrexate Toxicity.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that a medication error directly resulted in the death of Susan Brewer. As a resident of Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center, Susan relied upon the facility, her physician and the pharmacy that works with the facility to ensure that the medication she received was necessary, ordered correctly, filled correctly and dispensed correctly. Sadly, that did not happen for Susan in May 2019.
In May 2019 Susan Brewer’s physician prescribed Methotrexate for her psoriasis. Someone at the nursing home actually put a question mark next to the physician’s order indicating that it was unclear. However, the questions about the order were not resolved, and the order was forwarded to the pharmacy. The pharmacy filled the order for the resident to receive Methotrexate once a day for 5 days straight. Ozark LTC pharmacy then sent that filled order back to Big Bend Woods.
What is Methotrexate?
Methotrexate is a well known “high alert” medication which means that extra precautions must take place before it is given to patients. One precaution regarding Methotrexate warns that it is not supposed to be given daily for 5 days straight because of the danger of toxicity.
Susan was given one pill of Methotrexate for 5 days in a row instead of 1 pill per week for 5 weeks. In the week following the medication, she began to develop the classic symptoms of Methotrexate toxicity such as elevated temperature and mouth pain. Despite her symptoms she was not sent to the hospital. When told about her symptoms, her physician ordered “Magic Mouthwash” rather than send her to the hospital. On June 7, 2019, Susan insisted on going to the hospital.
Upon her arrival at the hospital, she was diagnosed with Methotrexate toxicity and died 3 days later.
David Terry, the lead trial lawyer for the Terry Law Firm, stated, “What happened to Susan is simply unforgivable and presents a threat to the entire community. The nursing home, the physician and the pharmacy all had an opportunity to correct this error. It is a very simple fix, yet none of them paid enough attention to the situation and their sloppiness cost Susan her life.”
You can read the full Petition herePETITION - file stamped (1)
A nursing home is required by law to meet the individual needs of its residents. This requirement applies to physicians and pharmacies as well if they are providing services to the nursing home resident. In meeting the needs of the residents, health care providers are required to meet the standard of care.
Physicians are supposed to know their patient’s laboratory data before prescribing dangerous medications. Residents with decreased kidney function and abnormally high BUN and Creatinine levels are not supposed to receive Methotrexate. Plaintiffs allege that defendants knew that Susan Brewer experienced these high laboratory levels before prescribing the medication that ultimately took her life.
The standard of care when prescribing Methotrexate is to ensure first that the drug being prescribed and given to the patient will not endanger the resident’s medical condition and second that the drug is ordered, filled and administered properly. This did not happen here.
What is the Purpose of a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Susan Brewer’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against these defendants to seek justice for her life. When nursing homes and other medical providers act recklessly and in total disregard to the health of those they are serving, the entire community is at risk. If nursing home negligence is given a pass with no consequences, family members are cannot be confident that their loved ones will be safe. Susan’s family hopes that this lawsuit will bring awareness to medication errors at nursing homes and prevent future injuries to nursing home residents.
The family hired nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer David Terry at the Terry Law Firm to pursue this case on their behalf.
Who Are the Defendants?
Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center located at 110 Highland Avenue, Valley Park, Missouri, is owned and operated by BBW Management Group LLC. As listed on medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. Big Bend Woods has a total of 20 health inspection citations in their most recent survey which is substantially higher than the average number in Missouri which is 8.6 and the U.S. average of 8.2. In the last three years, Big Bend Woods experienced 13 complaints that resulted in multiple citations. Medicare.gov statistics show that Big Bend Woods is understaffed with Registered Nurses (RN) spending an average of 18 minutes per resident, per day; well below the Missouri and National averages.
Chantri Trinh, M.D. has a private practice and also worked as the Medical Director for Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center. Ozark LTC, LLC is a pharmacy that fulfills medication orders for nursing homes across the State of Missouri, including Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center.
About The Author
This article was written by Samantha Evans, a journalist writing for the nursing home abuse and neglect trial lawyers at Terry Law Firm.