A wrongful death lawsuit has been initiated in southern Oregon, seeking up to $11.5 million for the estate of a 65-year-old man who passed away under questionable medical care circumstances. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, along with nurse Dani Marie Schofield, are named as defendants in this legal action, as reported by CBS affiliate KOIN-TV. This case has surfaced following reports that a nurse at the hospital allegedly replaced patients’ intravenous fentanyl drips with tap water, raising serious concerns about patient safety and medication security within the healthcare facility.

Investigations and Accusations

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Oregon After Nurse Accused of Medication Tampering
Horace Wilson, 65, had his fentanyl IV drip replaced with non-sterile tap water, which led to his death

The Medford Police Department disclosed last month that it was probing potential criminal activities against patients, centered on the theft of controlled substances, including fentanyl—a potent opioid used both in medical settings and known for its role in the nation’s overdose crisis. The investigation pointed to “adverse” outcomes for some patients following the alleged medication tampering. Nurse Dani Marie Schofield consented to a voluntary nursing license suspension in November, as detailed in the records of the Oregon Board of Nursing, while the investigation continues. As of now, no charges have been formally brought against her.

The ripple effect of this case has been significant, with attorney Justin Idiart representing nine clients who allege their medications were tampered with, and several others considering legal action. These clients include families of deceased patients and survivors, all reportedly treated by Schofield. With other local law firms joining the fray, the legal battle is expected to intensify, potentially involving up to three dozen cases. This situation underscores the gravity of medication security in hospitals and the profound impact of alleged misconduct on patient health and trust in medical institutions.

Hospital’s Response and Future Proceedings

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, when approached for comment, has not provided immediate responses to inquiries. The lack of readily available contact information for Schofield, and the unclear representation by legal counsel, add layers of complexity to the unfolding situation. The hospital, however, has expressed distress over the allegations and is cooperating with law enforcement investigations. The lawsuit, lodged in Jackson County Circuit Court, details the tragic case of Horace E. Wilson, a patient who experienced a severe decline in health following alleged medication tampering, highlighting the critical need for stringent medication management protocols and oversight in healthcare settings.