Visitor Question

Mother bled to death after cardiac catheterization procedure…

Submitted By: Robin (San Rafael, CA)

My 86 y.o mother had an elective cardiac catheterization procedure. She recovered for approximately 5 hours after the procedure. She began to cough up blood then vomited copious amounts of blood, and then died. She was coded for approx. 45 minutes.

I paid for an private autopsy to be done. The Dr. who performed the autopsy reported my mother’s superior vena cava and right atrium perforated. Her right mid lung lobe was filled with blood and her chest cavity had 2100 cc’s of blood in it. She exanguinated. She is at the coroner’s now (and has been for days).

Of course, I want justice for my mother. I have approached 3 lawyers and been rejected. I am told that the most I would win from the case is $250 K. I am a California resident. Is this true? How can I get real justice for the taking of my mothers life? Any information you can give would be appreciated.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Robin,

Your presentation of facts is a bit confusing. You state you consulted with three attorneys, and they all rejected your claim. Yet, you also say the attorneys told you you would be able to receive $250,000 on behalf of your mother.

The question is, why would three personal injury attorneys reject your claim if they would be able to settle the claim or win it at trial for an amount of $250,000?

While you don’t state it, your question implies you believe there exists evidence of medical malpractice. While there may be evidence to support such a claim, because your mother was 86, it would be hard to prove her advanced age was not a contributing factor to her death.

Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a healthcare provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.

To prevail in a med mal claim would require you to be able to prove the treatment your mother received was not appropriate for her medical condition, and the type and scope of her treatment fell beneath the standard of care other doctors under the same circumstances would have provided.

If the treatment your mother received was standard for her condition, and the perforation of her superior vena cava and right atrium was a foreseeable event under the same circumstances, especially in light of your mother’s advanced age, then successfully proving a medical practice claim will be difficult.

Learn more here: Hospital Wrongful Death Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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