Family wins $1.75 in case against Beth Israel

Boston Herald, Thursday, October 23, 1997

A Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday awarded $1.75 million to the family of a Winthrop man who died after gall bladder surgery at Beth Israel Hospital. "We're very pleased the jury saw fit to recognize that even at a place like Beth Israel, serious mistakes happen," said attorney Andrew Meyer. The total award is $2.6 million with interest. James Cusimano, 69, underwent elective gall bladder surgery July 26,1990. He died of internal bleeding six days after the operation.

Meyer argued Dr. Clinton Koufman delegated care to residents in training "weeks out of medical school. " Cusimano showed signs of blood loss, chest pain and cardiac problems, but no steps were taken to identify internal bleeding, Meyer said. He said Koufman failed to attend Cusimano after the operation. Koufman, who remains on staff at the hospital, and other doctors testified he attended Cusimano daily.

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