MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) - A widow blames her husband's fatal heart attack on Kaiser's decision to send him home with fluid on his lungs, in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Theresa Rowbatham sued Kaiser Permanente International, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., and two doctors - Michael Weiss and Adam Rogers.
Charles and Theresa Rowbatham had been married 55 years and Charles Rowbatham was 80 years old, according to the lawsuit.
Charles Rowbatham's primary care physician, Dr. Weiss, gave him an x-ray in May 2013 and found fluid on his lungs. The next day, Mr. Rowbatham came back for an echocardiogram, which "showed that Mr. Rowbatham had suffered a previous heart attack, as well as a ventricular aneurysm and significant atrial blockage. Given these results, Mr. Rowbatham should have been hospitalized immediately. Instead, he was released after the echocardiogram. When he returned home, there was a message from Kaiser telling him to make an appointment," the complaint states.
The Rowbathams scheduled the earliest appointment available, about a week away, according to the complaint.
Three days before the scheduled appointment, they called to request an earlier appointment, according to the complaint.
"After this second call, they were able to see Dr. Adam Rogers that day. They went to see Dr. Rogers and were told that they needed to do a procedure that would entail injecting dye into Mr. Rowbatham's heart. However, Dr. Rogers informed them that the procedure would cause kidney damage, so they should think about whether or not he really wanted to do the procedure. Dr. Rogers sent him home with some medication that he was told to take in the meantime," the complaint states.
"The next morning Mr. Rowbatham had a massive heart attack and died," it continues.
Theresa Rowbatham says Charles's heart attack would have been prevented if he had been hospitalized and treated instead of being sent home after his echocardiogram and his appointment with Dr. Rogers.
Theresa Rowbatham is represented by Bradley R. Bowles and Nathaniel B. Duncan of Bowles & Verna in Walnut Creek.