December 8, 2012

On November 23, 2012, a pediatrician from Fargo, North Dakota filed a medical malpractice case against her estranged husband, a surgeon, claiming that he injected her with Propofol and then sexually assaulted her. The medical malpractice case was filed by the wife two days after her husband was acquitted of criminal charges of  gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment arising out of the same circumstances by a jury that heard testimony from the wife and considered all of the evidence submitted during the almost three-week trial.

The defense in the medical malpractice case maintains that the criminal charges were instituted in order for the wife to gain an unfair advantage in the couple’s divorce and custody proceedings.

The medical malpractice case names as the medical malpractice defendants the husband, his place of employment, an owner of his employer, a nurse who was a co-worker of the husband, and a surgery center where the husband worked, claiming that they “did, could, or should have foreseen the risk of the potential harm caused by the unsupervised or unmonitored release of propofol and other dangerous drugs requiring a doctor’s prescription for use.”

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that it was improper to use Propofol at home, that the wife was not properly monitored while the Propofol was used, that proper safety equipment was not available while the Propofol was being used, that it was dangerous to use the Propofol in combination with other drugs, and that the husband failed to obtain informed consent from the wife with regard to the use of Propofol. The medical malpractice lawsuit seeks economic damages in excess of $50,000 as well as noneconomic damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, and the wife’s pain and suffering.

The husband claims that his wife agreed to being administered Propofol for relief of her chronic back pain and to help her sleep. The husband further claims that their sex was consensual.


The Dangers Of Propofol

If the drug name Propofol sounds familiar to you, it is probably due to its alleged involvement in the death of pop-singer/entertainer Michael Jackson.

The label for Propofol states: Propofol Injectable Emulsion is an intravenous sedative-hypnotic agent for use in the induction and maintenance of anesthesia or sedation. Intravenous injection of a therapeutic dose of Propofol induces hypnosis, with minimal excitation, usually within 40 seconds from the start of injection (the time for one arm-brain circulation). As with other rapidly acting intravenous anesthetic agents, the half-time of the blood-brain equilibration is approximately 1 to 3 minutes, accounting for the rate of induction of anesthesia.

Warnings: Use of Propofol Injectable Emulsion has been associated with both fatal and life-threatening anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions. For general anesthesia or monitored anesthesia care (MAC) sedation, Propofol Injectable Emulsion should be administered only by persons trained in the administration of general anesthesia and not involved in the conduct of the surgical/diagnostic procedure. Sedated patients should be continuously monitored, and facilities for maintenance of a patent airway, providing artificial ventilation, administering supplemental oxygen, and instituting cardiovascular resuscitation must be immediately available. Patients should be continuously monitored for early signs of hypotension, apnea, airway obstruction, and/or oxygen desaturation….


If you may have been injured as a result of a drug, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. A local medical malpractice attorney may help explain to you your rights and responsibilities in bringing a drug claim.

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