$3.3M for family of man given overdose at Northwestern

- The family of a man who died after he was given 10 times the ordered dosage of an anti-viral medication at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 2010 has been awarded a $3.3 million judgment.

Michael Vandelinder, 56, of suburban Detroit went to NMH in 2010 to be treated for complications following a bone marrow transplant for leukemia, according to a statement from Clifford Law Offices, which represented the family in the lawsuit.

He was administered 24,000 milligrams of an anti-viral drug, Foscarnet, when the order was supposed to be for 2,400 milligrams, the Vandelinder’s family’s attorneys claimed.

The hospital admitted negligence for dispensing and administering the 10-times overdose of Foscarnet from its pharmacy department, but denied the overdose caused Vandelinder’s death.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours Wednesday night before returning the $3.3 million verdict after a one-week trial before Judge Donald Suriano at the Daley Center, according to the statement.

“The massive overdose of the drug basically destroyed Michael’s kidney and after that he fought for his life for almost two weeks,” attorney Keith Hebeisen said in the statement.

“Hospitals need to be vigilant when it comes to dispensing drugs. There is no excuse for giving someone 24,000 milligrams when the order was supposed to be for 2,400 milligrams. There needs to be a better check-and-balance system, especially when you are talking about life-and-death circumstances,” Hebeisen said.

A spokesman for Northwestern Memorial Hospital did not immediately provide a statement on the judgement Thursday afternoon.

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