Medford attorney details wrongful death lawsuit against Asante & nurse

MEDFORD, Ore. – NBC5 News reported Monday (2/27/2024), that a Medford attorney names Asante and a nurse as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit connected to the alleged drug diversion investigation that may have resulted in several deaths and infections.

The estate of 65-year-old Horace Wilson, who died while hospitalized at Asante’s RRMC, is suing the hospital, alleging a nurse replaced his prescribed fentanyl with tap water. Wilson’s estate is represented by Idiart Law Group, who says Wilson went to Asante’s ICU after falling off of a ladder, in January of 2022.

The law group says, the replaced tap water, which is not sterile, introduced bacteria into his central line. They say this resulted in an unexplained decline in his health after he was treated for his fall. He died a month later, in February of 2022. Attorney Justin Idiart said,

“The family is there, watching them, they’re frustrated because they can tell he’s in pain. That’s the second claim. Not only did he die because of this, but he also suffered unduly because he wasn’t being administered the fentanyl that he should’ve.”

The law group names the hospital system and nurse, Dani Marie Schofield as defendants. According to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, her license was restricted in November of 2023, about a month before MPD announced their investigation. The law group says RRMC should have known about the possibility of drug diversion by one of their employees, because they say that in another case a different nurse was diverting controlled substances from 2016 to 2017. They also point to Asante’s healthcare associated infection rate spikes from the OHA, that coincide with the time prescribed drugs were allegedly being diverted. Justin Idiart said,

“If you recognize your organization has an issue and you’re not investigating, you’re not figuring it out on your own, you have to be transparent enough to bring in outside experts. Maybe they did, I don’t know. It never became public to any of us and so hopefully that’s something that we find in our discovery process.”

Idiart Law Group says that they’re hoping that the criminal investigation will wrap up by the time they pursue their civil cases. But also say they will proceed with their claims regardless. Now that the lawsuit is filed, they say they are entitled to certain documents for their case.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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