United Regional Medical being sued for $20M after patient death

A Hillsboro man has filed a lawsuit against Coffee Medical Group, LLC, claiming his wife died after being administered the wrong medication at United Regional Medical Center.

According to the lawsuit, filed March 7, 2011 in Coffee County Circuit Court, James Wilder is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages from United Regional Medical Center, 1001 McArthur Street. Wilder claims his wife, Sherry Pricilla Wilder, 52, was administered the wrong medicine by a nurse, leading to respiratory failure and eventually her death. URMC released a statement through chief executive officer Martha McCormick Logan late Wednesday night. It reads: ” First, URMC would like to extend its sympathy to the Wilder family for their loss. It is important to note, however, that Mrs. Wilder did not pass away at URMC. It is United Regional Medical Center’s understanding that Mrs. Wilder actually passed away in a Nashville hospital approximately 10 days after being discharged from our facility. According to the death certificate, the immediate cause of death was myocardial infarction, and conditions leading to the immediate cause of death were coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus. “URMC looks forward to its day in court to present the actual facts of this case and set the record straight.” Wilder said the time since his wife’s passing has been tough to swallow. “It’s been really rough during this time,” said James Wilder. “My church, Living Water Pentecostal in Manchester, has helped a whole lot. “They held a benefit and made enough money to cover funeral expenses and we had insurance that covered [most] of the $74,000 in hospital bills. I still owe $4,000, I think, and $2,000 to Air Evac.” According to the lawsuit, which represents only the plaintiff’s side of the story and not the hospital’s, Sherry Wilder was admitted to URMC on Nov. 10, 2010 for a 23-hour period of observation due to complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath. On Nov. 11, a nurse administered a shot of medication to Sherry Wilder.  After receiving the shot, Sherry Wilder developed acute respiratory failure and was transported to St. Thomas Hospital where she died Nov. 21. “The nurse came in and said my wife might get to go home,” explained Wilder. “She said the cardiologist said everything looked good. A few minutes later, nurse came in, went to her bed and didn’t look at her wristband or ask her name, she just gave her a shot. “After she gave her the shot, Pricilla asked what it was for and the nurse said, ‘you wanted a pain killer.’ Pricilla said ‘no, I wanted a stool softner.’ “The other patient in the room, a cancer patient, said, ‘no, I wanted pain medication.’ “That’s when the nurse said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve given the wrong person the wrong shot.’” The lawsuit claims the act is “medical battery.” And a “wrongful death.” James Wilder is seeking a jury trial, which has been set for Oct. 29. William C. Moody, of Nashville, is representing James Wilder. Look for more in next week’s print edition of the Manchester Times.