Wrongful death medical malpractice case is dismissed by judge.
The Estate of Verploegh sued Dr. Edward Haughn and Suburban Medical Centers in Kalamazoo County, alleged professional negligence resulting in the death of Mark Verploegh. Over a number of years, Haughn prescribed hydrocodone, Xanax, Valium, Keppra, Depakote, Prozac and methadone for the decedent who had a history of chronic pain, depression, panic attacks and epilepsy. Verploegh died nine months after his last visit to Haughn, and after receiving additional medications from another doctor, as a result of an overdose of prescription medications.
The coroner could not determine whether the cause of death was an attempted suicide or simply continued abuse of prescription medications. On that basis, the Court ruled that the family could not sue Haughn for over-prescribing because it could not prove that Haughn's care was a CAUSE of the man's death. The family had maintained that the several-year course of medications was a breach of the standard of care that contributed to the eventual death.