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A jury in Utah returned a verdict for $1.6 million in a wrongful death and medical malpractice action against Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City, for fatally overdosing a patient with a cocktail of medications.
The original complaint alleged Intermountain, which has 22 hospitals and more than 185 clinics in Utah, negligently and carelessly acted below the standard of care by prescribing a combination of medications to Randy Krambule, who had been seeking treatment for chronic back pain. Krambule’s treatment included sedatives, painkillers, and sleep aids that reached to more than 30 pills per day, according to the Standard Examiner.
As a result, the cocktail of medications "metabolized and accumulated" in Krambule’s body, which led to drug toxicity and ultimately his death on April 3, 2008. His wife filed suit in 2010.
In Utah, a wrongful death suit may be brought by the surviving spouse or the victim’s heirs against the person responsible for the conduct or, as in this case, the employer who is responsible for the employee’s misconduct.