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Jury Awards $6 Million In Patient’s Death

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DANBURY, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut jury awarded $6.5 million Thursday to the family of a man whose death at Danbury Hospital was blamed on excessive sodium, his attorneys said.

Jeffrey Pattison, 44, was admitted to Danbury Hospital in 2006 due to low sodium, attorneys for his family say, and he died more than two weeks later when his sodium level rose rapidly.

Danbury Hospital did not properly monitor Pattison and continued to administer a sodium solution despite the obvious danger that was resulting, said attorneys Sean McElligott and Joshua Koskoff, who represented Pattison’s estate.

“Mr. Pattison died as a result of carelessness and negligence,” Koskoff said. “We all hope this case will case Danbury Hospital to amend its procedures to guard against this preventable death from every happening again.”

Hospital officials say they disagree with the judgment.

“The health care providers involved in this case demonstrate their commitment to providing high quality patient care each and every day,” hospital spokeswoman Andrea Rynn said. “Many factors can contribute to a sad and unintended outcome, and all are carefully examined. While we do not agree with this judgment, we understand and respect the judicial process involved.”

The hospital does not share details of patients’ personal health issues in a public forum, she said, citing a commitment to protect their privacy.

The Danbury Superior Court jury deliberated more than four days before reaching the verdict. A court clerk confirmed the verdict amount.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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