Jury awards woman $625K in damages against Bayfront Health Port Charlotte

Published: February 17, 2021 10:36 AM EST

A Charlotte County jury on Friday awarded Debra Crouch, widow of Russell Crouch, a $625,000 verdict for pain and suffering her husband endured as a result of injuries he sustained on behalf of a nurse at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in 2018.

Russell Crouch sought damages for the premature removal of a temporary Foley catheter, which resulted in him needing a permanent catheter for the rest of his life. Crouch passed away from cancer – not related to negligence alleged in the lawsuit – before his case was resolved.

In 2018, Crouch was admitted to Bayfront Health Port Charlotte for a colostomy operation related to his cancer. During the surgery, the surgeon nicked Crouch’s urethra. While that injury was rectified by a urologist during surgery, it required Crouch to have a temporary urine catheter for three to four weeks after the operation. The nursing staff at Bayfront did not adhere to the doctor’s orders and prematurely removed the catheter after five days, causing irreversible damage.

“We are pleased that the jury saw the pain and suffering this man endured because of this nurse’s negligence. A person facing a terminal illness savors every moment of their life, and the discomfort of this permanent catheter and the resulting complications further diminished his quality of life. The catheter took away from those final 19 months, which were the most precious of his life.,” said his attorneys, Keith Mitnik and Craig Stevens with Morgan & Morgan. “The hospital admitted their negligence in this case, and we are relieved that the jury saw fit to fairly compensate Mrs. Crouch for her husband’s suffering.”

Stevens and Mitnik, who represented Debra Crouch, were able to demonstrate proof that, despite her husband’s ongoing battle with cancer during those final 19 months, the hospital’s negligence and malpractice worsened his physical health, led to new medical issues, and diminished his quality of life.