Bellevue, WA—A wrongful death lawsuit was filed last week, claiming medical malpractice and consumer law violations in connection with a May 2009 liposuction procedure that claimed the life of a 28-year-old woman. The suit, which names a Bellevue clinic and the doctor who performed the botched procedure as defendants, was filed only a month after the state accused the doctor of unprofessional conduct, as reported by Seattle PI.
According to the lawsuit, Aura Javellana paid the Sono Bello Body Contour Center $8,000 to undergo liposuction of her abdomen and upper arms. Surgeon Marco Sobrino performed the liposuction, but failed to keep track of how much Lidocaine, an anesthetic, was injected into his patient’s body.
According to the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission’s charging document, Sobrino’s medical assistant could not recall how many bags of the Lidocaine solution were used.
Medical investigators contended Sobrino did not monitor Javellana or document the amount of nitrous oxide and Lidocaine being administered at the time.
They said Sobrino left the clinic after the procedure was completed, but never verified if Javellana was in stable condition. The charge document noted that the doctor never gave Javellana replacement fluids and failed to track the amount of “material” removed during the procedure.
Javellana was left alone without further instruction. A medical assistant, who told her that an adult should pick her up from the clinic and stay with her for 24 hours, appeared to be the only person with her after the procedure.
Nonetheless, when no one came to pick Javellana up, Sono Bello staff put her in a cab. She apparently was not given any further instruction or a follow-up phone number.
Javellana died the following day. According to an autopsy report, the patient suffered acute poisoning from Lidocaine.
Dani Newman, one of the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission’s disciplinary managers, stated, “Respondent (Sobrino) is responsible for the actions of Sono Bello staff placing his patient – following three-and-a-half hours of laser liposuction surgery under strong drugs – in a taxicab, without an escort or a caregiver, and without clearly knowing her destination.”
As for the said consumer rights violations, the lawsuit claims Sono Bello Body Contour Center’s marketing practices were deceptive and made her believe liposuction was safe, straightforward and “virtually painless.”
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Javellana’s estate, as well as her mother and sister, seeks unspecified damages. The state’s charges against the doctor are pending.
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