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Hospital settles wrongful death lawsuit


CRESCENT CITY –Sutter Coast Hospital and several doctors settled a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this month that had been going through the judicial system for four years.

The details of the settlement were not disclosed, and a Sutter Coast official declined comment. The settlement came shortly before a jury trial was to begin.


On Jan., 17, 2007, Brian Cresser, of Brookings, was taken to the Sutter Coast emergency room around 1:15 p.m. after he began having difficulty breathing, according to a lawsuit filed by his wife, Julie Cresser.

It was later determined Cresser was suffering from an inflammation of tissue that covered his windpipe, the suit stated.

By 2:05 p.m. Cresser developed  acute respiratory failure and the physician overseeing him failed to perform a successful surgery to open an airway in his throat, the suit stated, adding that the physician was not properly trained to do the surgery.

Cresser went into cardiac arrest at 2:30 p.m. just as another physician arrived to perform a tracheotomy, and a couple of minutes later Cresser had no heart rhythm, the suit stated.

Cresser was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m.

The suit claimed Sutter Coast failed to have a backup plan in place when on-call physicians are unavailable. There was a throat doctor, general surgeon and two-anesthesiologists on call who were performing an elective surgery at the same time Cresser needed medical care, the suit stated.


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