Wrongful death lawsuit alleges malpractice


WINCHESTER — A man whose father died during a spinal procedure is suing the physician who performed it.

medication errors

The lawsuit, which seeks $7 million, was filed in Winchester Circuit Court on Friday on behalf of the estate of Richard J. Hart Sr. and his son Richard J. Hart Jr. It accuses Dr. Michael Joseph Poss of ordering too many injections of the sedative propofol for Hart and then failing to perform CPR and call 911 in a timely manner.

Hart, a 78-year-old Frederick County resident, was pronounced dead at Winchester Medical Center on Feb. 18, shortly after the procedure at the Virginia Brain and Spine Center  according to the lawsuit, which states that Hart was given four injections of propofol, a total of 20 cubic centimeters, in 11 minutes leading to an overdose. The last injection of 5 cc contradicted the recommendations of the manufacturer and the American Society of Anesthesiology. Poss then left Hart with a nurse to treat another patient despite Hart being unstable.

 The lawsuit states 911 wasn’t called until 10 minutes after the time recorded by the Spine Center, and CPR wasn’t done until emergency medical technicians arrived. Poss’ documentation that CPR began at 2:57 p.m. was “demonstrably false” and that an EMT report from the Winchester Fire Department contradicts it.

When staff was asked if there was a pulse, they answered no and when asked why CPR wasn’t being performed, they stated they guess they can do that,”

Thanks to Evan Goodenow and The Winchester Star.