The daughters of the late fire chaplain, Rabbi Aaron Gottesman, are filing a medical malpractice suit against Sharp Memorial Hospital and the doctors who treated him the days before his death in April 2005.
Judith and Ziva gottesman, the rabbi’s only children, claim the hospital and primary doctor, the doctor’s partner and the emergency room doctor at Sharp Memorial were negligent in the caring of Gottesman, which resulted in his death. On Thursday, the medical malpractice lawsuit was assigned a trail date in August.
“The second he died I decided to sue,” said Judith Gottesman of Santa Monica. “He shouldn’t have died.” The suit seeks $250,000 in damages for the loss of their relationship with their father. Sharp Healthcare declined to comment on the case, citing company policy.
On an April Saturday three days before he died, Rabbi Gottesman woke in the morning with pain in his ribs. He was taken by ambulance to Sharp Memorial’s emergency room, where he was given morphine for pain and the drug rocephin for infection, Judith Gottesman said. Judith Gottesman said her father was told he had a urinary tract infection and was sent home with prescriptions for the antibiotic cipro and painkiller percocet.
“He had several infections going on at once. The doctor overlooked the more serious ones,” she said. “He should have stayed in the hospital and been given life-saving antibiotics.” The hospital, Judith Gottesman said, received lab results the following day showing that the infection had spread from the urinary tract – a condition that required intravenous drugs.
A nurse phoned the rabbi’s wife with the results but didn’t say anything about treatment. The nurse faxed the results to the primary doctor. Over the weekend, the family spoke with the family doctor about his worsening condition. The Doctor told them not to worry. Gottesman says the doctor had not seen the lab results and had not spoken to the hospital. The next day the rabbi was having trouble breathing, he died later at the hospital.