Former UCLA Health patient’s wife sues UC Board of Regents for alleged medical malpractice

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A former UCLA Health patient is suing the UC Board of Regents, a UCLA medical team and Dr. David Chen in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The plaintiff, Marianne Strader, alleged that the defendants cared for and treated her husband Michael Strader, the decedent, “negligently, carelessly, and recklessly,” resulting in cardiac arrest and his death.

According to the case file, Michael Strader came into the UC-owned Santa Monica General Surgery facility on March 28, 2017. He was seen by Chen, an associate professor of clinical surgery at UCLA, who arranged a hiatal hernia repair surgery for him.

On May 8, 2017 at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Chen and the UCLA medical team performed a surgery for hiatal hernia repair on Michael Strader. During the surgery, Michael Strader began to hemorrhage and ultimately developed cardiac arrest and died, according to the lawsuit.

“The Regents allowed Chen and the UCLA Medical Team to perform surgery on decedent Michael Strader that they were not qualified to perform or performed below the standard of care, causing severe and permanent injuries to (Strader),” the lawsuit said.

Marianne Strader alleged that Michael Strader’s death was “wholly preventable,” but because of the defendants’ negligence, he died in surgery. She alleges that Chen, the UCLA medical team and, by extension, the UC regents “failed to properly perform the surgery to repair the hernia,” causing Michael Strader’s death.

As such, Marianne Strader is suing the defendants for general damages, incidental expenses, costs of the lawsuit and interest on all costs, among other things.

According to Marianne Strader’s attorney Elise Sanguinetti, in California, plaintiffs do not put down a specific monetary amount in damages; instead, the case is presented to a jury, and the jury determines the value of the damages.

“What a widow is entitled to under California law is wrongful death damages,” Sanguinetti said. “We are speaking (about) everything she is entitled to under the law.”

Phil Hampton, director of media relations at UCLA Health, declined to comment.

The UC Office of the President was also unable to comment on this case.

Contact Kelly Yang at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KellyYangMSJ.