Health

State agrees to pay widow following bedsores-tied death at University of Iowa hospitals

$325,000 payment comes four years after death

The Pappajohn Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is shown in Iowa City. The State Appeal Board on
The Pappajohn Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is shown in Iowa City. The State Appeal Board on Monday agreed to pay a Des Moines woman $325,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed about the 2016 death of her husband at UIHC. (The Gazette)

Nearly four years after a 67-year-old Des Moines man died from a significant bed sore his wife said he developed as an inpatient at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the state has agreed to pay his widow $325,000 to settle her lawsuit.

Beverly J. Carroll, 69, initiated her complaint with the state in January 2017 — about six months after her husband, Noel Carroll, died July 30, 2016. He died of complications from a significant bedsore and ulcer he developed while in UIHC care for routine cervical spine surgery, according to a lawsuit Carroll filed in Johnson County District Court in July 2018.

Her husband had been admitted for that surgery March 23, 2016, and remained there until April 13, returning also as an inpatient in May and June of that year. His final stay at UIHC “before his untimely death,” was June 6, 2016, according to the lawsuit.

While he was there, he developed a wound on his coccyx and lower back that later was identified as a pressure sore or ulcer.

“The extent and significance of the decedent’s ulcer was not known or identified until closer to his death on July 30, 2016,” according to the suit, which charged UIHC staff failed to properly diagnose the sore and care for it “by moving the decedent and cleaning the area of the wound.”

The lawsuit accused the university of failing to train its staff on how to clean and position patients and identify wounds, among other things. That failure, according to the lawsuit, led to a range of medical needs, expenses and the eventual death of the patient, according to the lawsuit.

The state is covering the full $325,000 settlement from its general fund.

ISU EMPLOYEE

The State Appeal Board on Monday also agreed to pay a former Iowa State University employee — who worked with its Madison County Extension Office for seven years — $20,000 to settle her lawsuit alleging age discrimination.

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Kathleen Boldman, according to her lawsuit, was fired at age 62 from her five-day-a-week job as the extension office assistant and bookkeeper. Her termination came after a 30-year-old executive director was hired in May 2016 — a year and a half before she was fired in November 2017.

In approving the settlement Monday, members of Iowa’s State Appeal Board reported Boldman’s complaint was not the result of systemic issues but rather a specific managerial issue.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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