There was something quite unsurprising the other day about news that the family of a deceased Potter County commissioner had filed a wrongful death suit against the Amarillo hospital that cared for him.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner Manny Perez died in October 2011 after what was thought to be a fairly “routine” surgical procedure on his neck. Perez’s death stunned the community and I heard from more than one individual who questioned the circumstances of his passing.
I’ll need to stipulate that I have no inside knowledge of this case. It just strikes me as not surprising that Perez’s family would take this action. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.
The suit, filed in the 108th State District Court, alleges Northwest Texas Hospital employees failed to notify Perez’s surgical team of changes in the commissioner’s medical condition after the surgery. Perez reportedly complained of difficulty swallowing. Perez’s condition worsened and he died several days after the surgery.
My heart, of course, was broken for Perez’s family when he died. I knew Perez quite well from my years covering his service for Potter County. We had our run-ins on occasion over those many years, but we were on good terms when he passed away.
I’ll await the outcome of this case, whether it goes to court or whether the hospital settles it with the family. A lawyer friend of mine with some knowledge of the situation told me the other day he thinks NWTH would be wise to settle. I am not qualified to make such an assertion.
I do believe I am qualified, though, to declare my lack of surprise that Manny Perez’s family would sue the hospital.
Let’s all stay tuned.