The dental surgery malpractice lawsuit was filed by the family of Felita Dowdy earlier this month in Bronx Supreme Court against Dr. Bruce Lish and St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan. Dowdy, a 33-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, died on October 14 after three months in the hospital due to complications from the dental extraction surgery. The family claims that Lish gave Dowdy fentanyl, which contributed to her death.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain killer that is often prescribed to patients suffering from chronic, severe pain. It is considered 100 times more powerful than heroine and is linked to hundreds of drug overdoses.
Dowdy’s family sent her to Lish to have her teeth extracted because they had been ruined as a side effect of her cerebral palsy. However, the family was informed that during the surgery something went wrong. Dowdy went into respiratory arrest and was hospitalized with brain damage due to complications of the dental surgery.
The family accuses Lish of having made a surgical mistake that led to Dowdy’s injuries, and believe that fentanyl played a role. The dental surgery wrongful death lawsuit indicates that fentanyl was found to be a contributing factor in Dowdy’s death. According to a report in the NY Daily News, the family seeks unspecified damages and accuses Lish and the hospital of failing to correctly monitor Dowdy’s post-operative care.