Couple sues GW Hospital for malpractice after husband has stroke

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Contributing Photo Editor

The first hearing for the couple suing GW Hospital will be take place in late April.

A couple is suing the GW Hospital for neglecting to treat the husband’s stroke, according to a lawsuit filed in the D.C. Superior Court last week.

In a 19-page lawsuit filed Thursday, Donald Lindo Black and Selica Gordan-Black allege that GW Hospital doctors did not properly diagnose Lindo Black with a stroke after D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel found him in an “altered mental state” in his car in 2016. The couple is suing for an amount of money to be determined at trial, alleging that leaving Lindo Black’s stroke untreated hurt the couple both emotionally and financially.

The complaint states that D.C. FEMS paramedics found Lindo Black in a damaged car in downtown D.C. on Oct. 21, 2016 at about 3:51 p.m. Lindo Black’s pupils were “equal,” and he had a normal glucose level but could not talk, according to the complaint.

“On assessment, Mr. Black was able to follow simple commands,” the lawsuit states. “By cardiac monitor he was in normal rhythm and was able to follow simple commands. However, he was unable to speak.”

Paramedics then transported Lindo Black, who was 60 at the time, to the hospital for further treatment, according to the lawsuit. The couple claims that Lindo Black’s medical records show his right pupil became larger than his left pupil after he arrived at the hospital.

Lindo Black was given a CT scan about one hour and 15 minutes after he was admitted to the hospital but did not receive proper care for his condition, the complaint states.

“There is no indication in the medical record from the time of admission to the GW Hospital emergency department that Mr. Black received any neurological evaluation by GW Hospital emergency department health care providers as would be commensurate with the standards of care including determination of his NIH scale, among other things,” the lawsuit states.

Hospital staff then attempted to run an MRI on Lindo Black, but he was moving too much to be scanned. About two hours later, hospital workers gave Lindo Black a sedative and attempted another MRI.

Lindo Black’s oxygen levels rapidly deteriorated after he received the sedative, and he was admitted to the hospital’s emergency department, the complaint states.

The couple is suing for one count of medical malpractice, two counts of vicarious liability against the GW Hospital and the Medical Faculty Associates and one count of loss of consortium –  meaning the situation strained the couple’s relationship, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint states that Gordan-Black, Lindo Black’s wife, lost income to help care for her husband, and the lack of treatment Lindo Black was given at the hospital made him unable to help clean and take care of their home.

The couple is suing for an amount to be determined at trial in addition to attorney’s fees. The case is set for an initial scheduling conference April 24, according to court documents.

GW Hospital spokeswoman Susan Griffiths did not return a request for comment. Elton Norman, the couple’s lawyer, declined to comment.

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