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  • Thornburg v. Zhea, Striz and Huntington Anesthesia Group, Civil Action No. 03-C-19

Tom Thornburg presented at St. Mary’s Hospital for the implantation of a defibrillator due to a worsening of his heart condition. During the procedure, he underwent conscious sedation and shortly before the testing of the device after implantation, during which a shock is induced to knock the patient’s heart our of rhythm, the nurse anesthetist administered propofol in three doses then returned to his seat without monitoring the patient. After the test, it was discovered by the circulating nurse that Mr. Thornburg was turning blue and not breathing. After significant resuscitation efforts, it was determined that Mr. Thornburg had suffered permanent brain damage, which later contributed to his death. After a six day trial, the jury returned a wrongful death verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the sum of $1.55 million dollars. During the prior 10 years, in Cabell County, juries had returned 22 straight defense verdicts.