Gardena Convalescent Center Framed Doctor for Negligence That Caused Patient Death


TORRANCE, CAAGNEWBRUSAVICH, a Torrance-based serious personal injury law firm, has filed a lawsuit against Gardena Convalescent Center (GCC) and seven others on behalf of Dr. Shrikant Tamhane after uncovering that GCC staff members falsified physician’s orders and patient Yukio Fukushima’s records to place blame for Fukushima’s death on Dr. Tamhane for negligent replacement of Fukushima’s feeding tube.  Dr. Tamhane should have been notified if there were issues with Fukushima’s feeding tube.  Not only was he not notified, but staff members decided to replace it themselves, using the wrong size tube and re-inserting it into Fukushima’s abdomen instead of his stomach. This  caused a blood infection that led to Fukushima’s death.

“Yukio lost his life due to the negligence of Gardena Convalescent Center’s staff members.  Instead of taking responsibility, they devised a scheme against Dr. Tamhane to hide their negligence,” said Gerald Agnew, Partner at AgnewBrusavich.  “It’s disturbing to see a highly-regarded physician’s reputation ruined because Gardena Convalescent Center’s staff wanted to save themselves from prosecution.”

Background

In August 2013, Fukushima had a feeding tube placed in his stomach at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and was returned to the care of Gardena Convalescent Center, where the G-tube became dislodged. The staff wrongfully replaced it with a larger size and re-inserted it into Fukushima’s peritoneum instead of his stomach.  GCC staff knew if the tube became dislodged, they were to call Dr. Tamhane and Fukushima’s family and immediately transport him to a hospital for replacement, ultrasound or x-ray and observation.

Fukushima’s son observed his father was sick and noticed that the G-tube was dislodged and looked different. He demanded 911 and paramedics be called.  Fukushima was transported to Gardena Memorial Hospital, where he died from the complications of infection.  Agnew’s investigation, his handwriting and ink analysis expert and testimony uncovered the scheme to create and falsify physician’s orders attributed to Dr. Tamhane, as well as other health records in Fukushima’s chart.  Agnew also determined that the staff at GCC concealed that they had changed Fukushima’s G-tube more than once without the consent of his family or Dr. Tamhane.

The Fukushima family filed a wrongful death and elder abuse lawsuit against Dr. Tamhane and GCC.  Agnew, representing the Fukushima family, revealed the evidence against GCC and staff in court papers and to Dr. Tamhane’s defense attorney, and then dismissed him from that case.

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Founded in 1984, AGNEWBRUSAVICH represents those who have suffered serious personal injuries and the families of those wrongfully killed in bicycle and vehicular crashes, medical malpractice, defective products, construction accidents, premises, elder abuse and other acts of negligence.