A doctor’s records, a medical expert who deciphered those records, and past disciplinary action against that doctor all played a role in leading to a $1.95 million settlement for the family of a 29-year-old man who died of a prescription drug overdose……law.com, How Plaintiffs Counsel Secured $1.95M Settlement for Estate of Man Who Died From Prescription Drug Overdose, Robert Storace, 2021
Trantolo, owner and president of Trantolo & Trantolo in Hartford, appearing for the plaintiff said the deciding factor in the settlement with Colchester Internal Medicine “was the blatant negligence of this doctor both in his actions and in his records that he kept regarding his client.” Bertrand died in June 2017 after being a patient of Bucci’s for about three years. Trantolo said the doctor overprescribed Bertrand opioids and the man eventually died.
A lawsuit was filed in New London Superior Court in May 2019.
Bertrand first went to see Bucci for back pain and ended up being given numerous prescriptions of Oxycodone.
There was the written statement of Dr. Michael Schlesser that Trantolo said sealed the case for him. In his statement, Schlesser said he reviewed, among other things, 84 pages related to Bertrand’ s care from Bucci at Colchester Internal Medicine.
Schlesser wrote that Bucci’s care “fell below the standard of care leading to his (Bertrand’s) death in the following ways,” including “he failed to offer the patient first line non-addictive treatments for chronic pain that don’t result in addiction” and “he neglected to take appropriate life-saving action, when the patient persistently over-consumed his medication.”
In addition, “The medical doctor failed to work with the patient to look for solutions to his chronic pain. The medical doctor instead focused on increasing the patient’s access to smokable oxycodone, rendering the patient severely addicted to opioids.”