Hospital, Staff To Pay $3.85 Million for Giving Child Adult-Size Dose of Antifungal Drug


The family of an Allendale girl who almost died from an overdose of medication settled their suit on Nov. 10 against the administering hospital for $3.85 million, including $200,000 to a sister who witnessed the girl’s reaction.

On Aug. 26, 2006, Elizabeth and Joseph Bond took took their daughter Joan, then 9, to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood for an infection after removal of her appendix. Doctors prescribed an antifungal drug, Amphotericin, but the hospital’s pharmacy prepared an adult dose rather than one suitable for a child, says the family’s lawyer, David Mazie of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman in Roseland.

Shortly after taking the drug intravenously, Joan went into cardiac arrest and renal failure with her 7-year-old sister Mary watching. She was resuscitated after being given blood transfusions and was transferred to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, where she stayed for six weeks.

Joan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, but has no physical injuries, says Mazie.

The suit, Bond v. Valley Hospital, was filed in Bergen County Superior Court against the hospital and three staff pharmacologists — Sherry Karass, Mimi Rizkalli and Grace Kuo — who prepared and delivered the medication.

Valley Hospital is self-insured and has a policy with Chartis Insurance Co. They retained William Theroux, of Princeton’s Buckley & Theroux, who also represented Rizkalli and Kuo. Karass had a policy with CNA Insurance Co., which retained Louis Dughi Jr., of Cranford’s Dughi & Hewit.

The hospital and the carriers will determine among themselves how to apportion the payouts.

Dughi confirms the settlement total. Theroux was away from his office and could not be reached for comment.

— By Michael Booth

Reprinted with permission from the November 23, 2009 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal© 2015 ALM Media Properties. LLC All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.

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