Woman sues Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for alleged medical malpractice

Ariel Hayat/File

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A woman filed a complaint Jan. 20 alleging that her father’s death in 2005 was a result of medical malpractice he experienced at the Berkeley campus of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

In the complaint, Marie Leone alleges that the alleged misdiagnosis and delayed treatment of her father, Mario Leone, led to his death. She is suing for the damages of her father’s suffering as well as her own mental anguish.

Leone’s father sought medical treatment for symptoms of severe infection and impending sepsis, but was allegedly misdiagnosed by his doctor, Carl Watanabe, whose office is located in Albany, before seeking medical attention at the emergency care center at the Alta Bates campus.

The complaint alleges that her father’s condition should have been correctly diagnosed by a physician with an area of expertise in internal medicine — like Watanabe and emergency room staff and physicians at the Alta Bates campus.

“As a longstanding practice, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center will not discuss pending or ongoing litigation,” said Clayton Warren, a spokesperson for the center.

According to the complaint, Leone’s father was allegedly denied treatment at the emergency room for more than eight hours. He was eventually admitted, but was not accurately diagnosed until he had entered a septic condition.

“He died a painful death on January 13, 2005 after suffering for many hours,” the complaint states.

The alleged lack of treatment and misdiagnosis breached the medical standard of care necessary for the deceased, according to the complaint. Thus, the complaint alleges, the death deprived Leone of care and support from her father, causing her “extreme mental anguish.”

Gibson Chu is the lead crime and courts reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @thegibsonchu.