Suit alleges Oregon State Hospital overmedicated, mistreated man

From the Salem Statesman Journal, November 2, 2011

A lawsuit filed against the Oregon State Hospital on behalf of a 32-year-old mental patient alleges he was mistreated and overmedicated by hospital clinicians, leading to two heart attacks in November 2009.

The civil suit accuses hospital doctors and caregivers of negligence, including:

    -Failing to obtain informed consent for treating the patient, Joshua Jaschke, with the drug Adderall.

    -Failing to provide him with a full explanation of the drug treatment regimen, its risks and possible alternatives.

    -Failing to consult product safety warnings for the drug before prescribing and administering it.

    -Administering doses that exceeded amounts recommended by the drug manufacturer and the hospital.

    -Failing to recognize and treat the patient’s chest pain and other medical complaints and symptoms before to his heart attacks.

    -Continuing to treat Jaschke with Adderall after he had heart attacks, on Nov. 1, 2009, and Nov. 8, 2009.

A $10 million lawsuit filed against the Oregon State Hospital claims that a mental patient suffered two heart attacks because he was overmedicated and mistreated at the Salem psychiatric facility.

The Marion County civil suit alleges that OSH patient Joshua Jaschke, now 32, was prescribed doses of the drug Adderall, along with other medications, which caused him “to feel sick and suffer pain and heart attacks and permanent damage to his heart.”

Jaschke suffered two heart attacks during a one-week period in November 2009 because of negligent care, according to the suit.

It also claims that hospital doctors failed to obtain the patient’s “informed consent” for treatment with the drug and failed to fully explain to him potential side effects or possible alternative treatments.

Adderall is a stimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts. It is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity and narcolepsy.

The lawsuit asserts that Jaschke was treated with the drug “unnecessarily or without a legitimate medical purpose.” It also claims that he was given excessive doses of the drug.

Furthermore, it says hospital doctors prescribed the drug “without due regard of his thromboembolic history,” referring to blood clots that break loose in the bloodstream.

As a result of his two heart attacks, Jaschke faces “future medical expenses for necessary care and treatment and repair of his heart, and/or a heart transplant,” according to the suit.

Named defendants are the state Department of Human Services, the state hospital, and nine doctors and therapists employed by the hospital at the time of the alleged negligence: James Ronald Brylski; Ulista Jean Brooks; Satyanarayana Chandragiri; Frederick Elliot Fried; Steven Edward Fritz; Richard Joseph Mead; John Edward Meyer; William Lee Newton; and Michael Edwin Robinson.

Hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King declined to comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.

Portland lawyer Michael Van Hoomissen, who represents Jaschke, said Wednesday that his client is housed in the hospital’s transitional cottage program.

He said Jaschke is on track to be discharged back into the community.

Although Jaschke has made significant progress during his mental health treatment at the psychiatric facility, his physical health remains precarious, Van Hoomissen said.

“Physically, he has a severely damaged heart,” he said.

The lawsuit asserts that Jaschke has suffered “a shortened life expectancy and loss of enjoyment of his life.”

The suit asks for a jury trial.