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Family Receives $1,950,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death of Mother and Wife

02.03.2004

The family of Juana Silveyra announced today that they have reached a settlement amount of $1,950,000 in pretrial negotiations with Swedish Covenant Hospital. The Silverya family, represented by David R. Barry, Jr. of Corboy & Demetrio, alleged that Juana’s death took place as a result of the hospital’s negligence.

On July 20, 1999, at about 11:00 p.m., Juana Silveyra, a known diabetic, was admitted to the Swedish Covenant Hospital emergency room with complaints of severe shortness of breath and significantly elevated blood sugar levels. Less than ninety minutes later, Juana was dead. Her family - her husband, Dimas, and her two sons, George and David - was told simply that “it was her time”. The death certificate allocated the cause of death to fatty liver.

Upon exploration by medical experts, it was determined that the emergency room staff did not meet the requisite standard of care in Juana’s case. The hospital staff failed to recognize the severity of Juana’s respiratory distress, despite very low blood oxygen levels on admission, and also failed to obtain arterial gas studies and intubate Juana, procedures that would be standard under similar circumstances. Instead, Juana was allowed to deteriorate until she suffered cardiorespiratory arrest. The defense claimed her death was due to underlying cardiac disease and if she had survived this episode, she had a very short life expectancy.

The attorney for Juana’s family, David R. Barry, stated:

The settlement will help give some closure to the Silveyra family. It’s important that the family know that it wasn’t Juana’s time - she should have been saved through proper medical assistance. While she might not have lived a normal life expectancy, she should have had several more years with her family.

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