Texas Family Awarded $2.2 Million Against Houston Northwest Medical Center for Wrongful Death

(Houston, Texas) November 14, 2011 - The family of 54-year-old Phillip Mazza prevailed in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit against Houston Northwest Medical Center on November 8, 2011, after a Harris County jury found the hospital negligent for not properly caring for Mr. Mazza following heart surgery in 2006.

In September of 2006, Mr. Mazza underwent cardiac bypass surgery. Three days later, a pulmonologist assessed Mr. Mazza at noon and determined he needed a thoracentesis for internal bleeding and a transfer to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). No ICU beds were available at the time, which left Mr. Mazza under the care of a telemetry nurse. At approximately 1:30 p.m., Mr. Mazza was sent to an interventional radiologist who performed the thoracentesis. Just over one liter of old blood was removed. Mr. Mazza returned to the telemetry unit at around 2:30 p.m., but was still not being provided ICU care.

From 2:30 p.m. until approximately 4 p.m., Mr. Mazza remained under the care of a nurse who was not qualified to provide ICU care. The nurse failed to recognize the signs or symptoms of internal bleeding, which had begun shortly after the thoracentesis. Just after 4 p.m., Mr. Mazza was finally transferred to ICU where he quickly went into cardiac arrest after bleeding internally for some two hours. He was revived, but was without brain activity after a lack of oxygen for nearly 15 minutes. Mr. Mazza's family made the difficult decision to withdraw life support five days later.

The law firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz represented the Mazza family. The jury found the hospital was negligent for causing the death of Mr. Mazza, who was survived by his wife, Cindy, and two children, Chris and Jennifer. Attorneys for the family included, Randall Sorrels, Imrana Manzanares and Jason Muriby. "The family is grateful that the jurors took three weeks out of their lives to listen to the evidence and hold Houston Northwest accountable for the death of this fine man," said attorney Randy Sorrels.

Since 1951, Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz has helped thousands of families whose loved ones have died or been seriously injured in cases involving motor vehicle and trucking accidents, workplace injuries, defective products, medical malpractice and other personal injury accidents.

To contact attorney Randall O. Sorrels or any of the personal injury attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz in Houston, Texas call 713-587-9668 (toll free 800-580-9121) or contact us online.