Jury Returns $12.2 Million Verdict Against PeaceHealth, Doctors for Causing Brain Damage

Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)

A Lane County jury returned a $12.2 million verdict against PeaceHealth and doctors responsible for causing brain damage to a Springfield man who was administered 18 times the prescribed dose of a medication after his heartbeat became unstable following surgery in March 2011.

Lee Lyman, 56, was the victim of a drug medication error "of a magnitude never seen before" involving amiodarone, said Portland attorney Sam Freidenberg, Lyman's court-appointed conservator.

Amiodarone is a drug used to restore normal heart rhythm.

Eugene attorney Don Corson represented Lyman in the case. The verdict was returned last month following a three-week trial in Lane County Circuit Court.

According to a news release issued by a spokeswoman for Corson's office, evidence at trial showed that an anesthesiologist working at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield administered 2,700 milligrams of amiodarone -- instead of the 150 milligrams ordered by a surgeon after Lyman developed ventricular fibrillation after undergoing a procedure to replace his bicuspid aortic valve.

Corson filed a lawsuit on Lyman's behalf in 2013. Named as defendants are PeaceHealth, Northwest Anesthesia Physicians and Dr. Albert Cho.

Corson said the jury found the defendants negligent and liable for causing harm to Lyman, who has five children and worked at a local factory before suffering brain damage.

Lyman "has lost much of his ability to function and will require extensive medical care for the rest of his life," Corson said.

An approved "life-care plan" will ensure the money awarded to Lyman covers his needs, Corson said.