2 April 2018 | The children of a former patient are suing Adventist Health Clearlake and Adventist Health St. Helena for medical negligence resulting in death. The lawsuit also mentions physicians working at the facilities.

Laura Robinson, 59, died after visiting the Adventist hospitals twice with upper back pain and being sent back home.

The lawsuit claims that Robinson visited Adventist Health Clearlake with back pain on Dec. 4, 2016 and that the presiding Emergency Room doctor, Dr. Chisum, thought that Robinson’s symptoms could be related to aortic dissection, or tear. 

Although a CT scan was ordered, radiologist, Dr. Racker, allegedly administered the wrong scan. According to the suit, signs of an aortic dissection could still be seen on the image procured.

The Napa Valley Register reported that the lawsuit claims Racker “dismissed the ‘clear indications’ of an aortic tear as a shadow on the image” and that when Chisum reviewed the results, Robinson was sent home.

Robinson went to Adventist Health St. Helena’s ER on Dec. 11, but she was allegedly sent home by the ER’s Dr. Stone, who, according to the lawsuit, based his diagnosis on the information from the Adventist Health Clearlake visit while not ordering any further scans.

Robinson died instantly when her aorta ruptured the next day.

Her family is suing the Adventist facilities and physicians, for economic and non-economic damages as well as the costs of suit. They are also demanding a jury trial.

Adventist Health St. Helena and Adventist Health Clearlake are both situated in Northern California. Adventist Health, the system of which they are a part, runs 20 hospitals and over 280 clinics on the West Coast and in Hawaii. It also operates home care and hospice agencies. According to the Sacramento Business Journal, it is the third-largest private company in the Sacramento region with $3.95 billion in 2016 revenue. The system is affiliated with the Adventist Church.

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