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Kathleen Nastri: $15.4M to estate of CT woman given too much anesthesia in medical procedure

Jury awards $15.4M to estate of CT woman given too much anesthesia in medical procedure

Story by Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant

The family of a Connecticut woman who died after she was allegedly given too much anesthesia and then improperly resuscitated was awarded $15.4 million by a New Haven jury in a medical malpractice case.

Maria Ocasio, 57, went to Midstate Medical Center on March 17, 2017, for an outpatient endoscopy procedure, during which she was put under anesthesia by Dr. Guy J. Aliotta, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse anesthetist, both of whom worked for Meriden-Wallingford Anesthesia Group, according to the complaint.

Aliotta has since died. Meriden-Wallingford Anesthesia Group and Aliotta’s estate are defendants in the suit.

“While under anesthesia for the procedure, Ms. Ocasio sustained sedation-induced respiratory depression and hypoxia which ultimately caused Ms. Ocasio to go into cardiopulmonary arrest and ultimately sustain a catastrophic brain injury which left her in a vegetative state,” the complaint states.

According to a statement from Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, which represented the Ocasio family, Aliotta and his team allegedly failed to recognize what had happened and did not properly resuscitate her, give her chest compressions or call a hospital-wide code. Ocasio spent 30 days in intensive care before she died April 17, 2017, according to the statement.

“Our mother had to fight all of her life, and she would have wanted us to keep fighting,” said her sons, Alex, Luis and Brian Ocasio, in a joint statement. “We are grateful to the jury for honoring her memory with this verdict. Her seven grandkids, one of whom was born after her death, were the light of her life. We will all carry her memory and fighting spirit with us for the rest of our lives.”

Ocasio was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and lived in Meriden. Her family says she was about to enter a new phase of her life when she could rest and focus on herself, according to the statement.

“Maria Ocasio should have walked out of that outpatient procedure and enjoyed many more decades with her loving family — seeing her grandchildren grow up and benefit from the good lives that she fought for them to have. Instead, she spent her final days hooked up to machines,” said Kathleen Nastri, attorney for the family along with Erik Siegel.

“Her sons were determined to uncover what happened and honor her memory. Today’s verdict does just that, and we’re proud to have brought some peace to the Ocasio family,” Nastri said.

Neither Meriden-Wallingford Anesthesia Group nor Berkowitz & Hanna of Shelton, attorneys for the defendants, could be reached for comment.

Jury awards $15.4M to estate of CT woman given too much anesthesia in medical procedure (

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