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Man Killed by Excess Saline in Medical Malpractice Case

What should have been an ordinary visit to the hospital to treat an outbreak of shingles quickly turned into a case of medical malpractice, and eventually caused an innocent man his life. 

When Robert, an end-stage renal patient, was admitted to the hospital for shingles and an inability to urinate, healthcare providers began administering a dangerous amount of saline - an amount that would fill nearly two 2-liter bottles in one day. They had given Robert valacyclovir to treat his shingles - but due to his urinary retention, he quickly began experiencing neurotoxicity, leading doctors to put Robert on a saline regimen for his failing kidneys.

The doctors continued to give him 100 mL of saline per hour, until the fluid rapidly accumulated in his lungs, causing cardiac arrest and a hypoxic brain injury. Because of the brain injury, Robert was put on a ventilator - until he was removed from life support only days later.

After dealing with the tragic loss of her husband, Robert's wife called on Matt Breining of Cutter Law to represent her against the medical center who had failed to monitor his conditions, leading to his untimely death.

Matt Breining worked with a great team of experts, including a nephrologist and a pharmacist who could help identify and outline the medical center’s improper treatment of his client’s renal failure. To help visualize the medical experts’ testimonies, DK Global created a presentation that laid out the timeline of events and illustrated the excess amount of saline given to Robert, which essentially drowned him. The case was litigated for nearly 3 years, until both parties were able to come to a resolution. Although no amount of money could ever repair the damage that was done, Matt’s client received a favorable settlement for her tragic loss, which would help to financially support her for the remainder of her life.

This case received a 2018 Golden Advocate Award for the Spotlight category, an award given to an attorney whose talents and achievements stood out to the DK Global team.

Golden Advocate winner and AAJ member, Matthew Breining, primarily practices personal injury, class action, and insurance bad faith cases. He is a firm believer that every client has a story and that his job is to present these stories compellingly while making their litigation experience as smooth as possible. In 2020, Matthew was selected as a Rising Star by the Super Lawyers Publication, a designation of top-rated practicing attorneys through extensive evaluations.

"One of the things that was great about working with DK Global was the level of responsiveness. If there was an edit to the demonstratives that we were using, it happened very quickly."
Matthew Breining - Cutter Law P.C.
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