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Death of wealthy philanthropist sparks lawsuit

When families suffer the devastating loss of a loved one, they are often left wondering if there could have been a way to prevent the death. In many cases, fatal accidents could have been prevented if not for the negligence or reckless behavior of a person or institution. While it cannot bring that person back, Florida families can hold the appropriate parties responsible for a wrongful death.

Unusual circumstances preceding the death of a 59-year old woman have prompted her husband to file a lawsuit against the person he feels is responsible: her psychiatrist. He claims that the doctor manipulated his wife and over-medicated her with dangerous drugs in an attempt to extort money. The dangerous drugs he gave her, the husband says, led to her death.

The man and his wife were quite wealthy, and he believes the psychiatrist took advantage of her to benefit from her money. According to reports, the doctor heavily medicated the philanthropic, but troubled, woman for an undiagnosed mental condition for years.

Other doctors would discontinue the powerful medications during her numerous ER visits for overdosing, saying that the drugs were causing disorientation, falls and intoxication. However, the psychiatrist would just re-prescribe them as soon as soon as the woman was released from the hospital.

The nine different drugs that the victim was given were prescribed for a variety of conditions and were known to have some serious side effects. One of the drugs, Seroquel, is known to alter heart rhythm, which was ultimately the cause of her death.

After her death, the husband discovered that his wife had donated a substantial amount of money to the doctor. According to reports, the doctor told the woman that he was developing a medical device that could cure her, but he needed more money to conduct the necessary research. The complaint accuses the doctor of purposely keeping the woman over-medicated so that she would be more inclined to rely on the doctor and donate money to his research. Her wrongful death, the husband claims, was the result of negligence, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Source: Miami Herald, "Philanthropist's death sparks unusual lawsuit," Linda Deutsch, Aug. 4, 2012

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