GRMC denies allegations that Dr. Cabrera told the patient’s family that the hospital overdosed him.
Guam – GRMC is responding to allegations of medical malpractice in Superior Court, denying that they are responsible for the death of a patient who spent 72 days at the hospital.
The family of Ramond Soumwei is suing GRMC for $250,000 in damages, alleging the hospital overdosed the patient then covered up the mistake for several weeks.
According to their complaint, Soumwei arrived in June last year via ambulance with physical or mental distress and that GRMC physician Dr. Felix Cabrera offered to give Soumwei a “certain strong medication” because nothing else seemed to be working. The family agreed but says Soumwei continued to deteriorate into a vegetative state.
Soumwei spent several weeks in the ICU, was discharged but landed back at a hospital, this time the Guam Memorial Hospital, a few days later where he died.
Their complaint alleges that Dr. Cabrera and other GRMC employees then met with the family after Soumwei’s death in which Dr. Cabrera allegedly apologized to the family and told them that an emergency room nurse had overdosed Soumwei by accident the day he first arrived at GRMC.
However, GRMC denies the allegations and says, to the contrary, they actually saved Soumwei’s life the day he was brought to the emergency room and that had it not been for the care they provided, Soumwei would have died within minutes of arriving.
In their reply, GRMC says Dr. Cabrera was not even on duty at the time Soumwei was first brought to the ER in the afternoon and that it was another physician that attended to him. Dr. Cabrera didn’t arrive at GRMC until 7 pm that evening, court papers state, and it wasn’t until midnight that Dr. Cabrera told the family that “he would have to administer a strong drug, epinephrine, by continuous drip because Ramond’s condition was so critical.” According to GRMC, the family consented.
GRMC then acknowledges that Soumwei spent 72 days at GRMC and was, for the most part, in a vegetative state. They point out that the family had a “Do Not Resuscitate” or DNR instruction on the patient and that he died while at GMH—not at GRMC.
But what about that family meeting where Dr. Cabrera allegedly told the family that GRMC overdosed their loved one? GRMC acknowledges that a meeting took place. While they deny allegations that Dr. Cabrera took responsibility for overdosing Soumwei, GRMC does not specify in court papers what was discussed at the meeting.
GRMC points out that the medical expenses incurred by Soumwei’s stay racked up to $750,000 but that they continued to provide medical care to Soumwei despite knowing that he did not have medical insurance or the means to pay for his care.
GRMC is also seeking dismissal of the case, pointing out that the plaintiff has not exhausted all available remedies such as arbitration and therefore the Superior Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.