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Widow of former Steeler files wrongful death suit

Hospitals are common defendants in cases involving allegations of wrongful death. The widow of former Pittsburgh Steelers Dwight White filed a wrongful death suit in 2010 against UPMC Presbyterian and neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon after the death of her husband. Maroon was later dismissed as a defendant.

Dwight underwent back surgery in June 2008 and was able to walk when he was discharged the next day. Three days later, he became ill and bedridden. When he started having trouble breathing, his wife took him to the emergency room where a CT scan revealed the embolism. He was treated with medication and underwent surgery to remove the clot. Sadly, the two-time Pro-Bowler died two weeks later in the intensive care unit at the age of 58.

The suit alleged that the hospital's failure to diagnose and treat Dwight's massive pulmonary embolism caused his death. The petition also claims that records indicate that Mr. White was consciously suffering at the end of his life. The hospital denied any liability. However, the case settled for $2.5 million which will be shared between Karen and her daughter Stacey, minus costs and fees. While Dwight's playing days were behind him, he was a partner in a sports promotion business and a senior managing director at a financial company at the time of his death, earning over $300,000 annually with no plans to retire. Courts considered this when determining the amount of the settlement.

The case was settled last year but Dwight's estate remains open. The judge on the case deleted a provision that would have kept the details of the agreement private forever. Now that settlement has been reached, the family will hopefully find closure after such a tragic event.

Source: Trib Live, "Settlement in wrongful death suit concerning former Steeler White against UPMC part of public records," Walter F. Roche Jr., Jan. 6, 2016

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