Two men died following surgery at the Blue Valley Hospital in Overland Park in 2017 and 2018. The hospital, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is being sued for medical malpractice by the families of the deceased.
Joseph Metz and Travis Claussen both experienced complications exacerbated by the hospital’s staff following routine surgeries which led to their untimely deaths. The men were 40 and 36 years old, respectively.
Two Patients, Same Tragic Result
On December 22, 2017, Joseph Metz underwent spinal fusion surgery at Blue Valley Hospital for a preexisting conditional that had caused him back pain for years. He was discharged four days later; the following day he was found dead in his home. His autopsy revealed a high temperature and symptoms of pneumonia.
Travis Claussen underwent a hip replacement surgery on February 6, 2018. He too had suffered severe back pain for years prior to the procedure but was deemed too heavy to undergo back surgery. After being discharged, he developed an infection at the surgical site. He returned to hospital to receive treatment for the infection, which included being given pain medication. Over the next several weeks, he visited the hospital many more times, but his infection was not going away.
On April 9, 2018, Claussen’s hip implants were removed. During the surgery, his right femur fractured. According to medical records, he was given large quantities of narcotics and sedatives to treat the pain. On April 11, he was found unresponsive by a nurse and died shortly after, likely as a result of an overdose.
Allegations Against the Hospital
The two men’s deaths happened at a time in which Blue Valley Hospital was performing “a lot of extra surgeries to get the numbers we needed” according to a hospital staffer. Without a certain number of inpatients each day, the hospital was in danger of losing its Medicare certification.
Federal records also show that in June of 2018, inspectors for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued report on the hospital containing an “immediate jeopardy” finding. Such a finding implies patients who are admitted and treated are potentially at risk of injury or even death.
The report also found that both Metz and Claussen’s deaths were caused by the hospital staff’s failure to comply with the conditions for receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Both Metz and Claussen’s families have filed lawsuits against the hospital for negligence.
If you or a family member have been wrongly injured or killed while in the care of a medical facility, contact our Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. today.