Two doctors sued in man’s death
FONDA A Fort Hunter woman is suing two Saint Mary’s-based physicians, claiming their negligence is responsible for the death of her husband.
Andrew Renda died in January 2011 at the age of 66 after two weeks of hospitalization. As administrator of his estate, Barbara Renda brought a suit against Drs. Ronald R. Marsh and Emily Etzkorn, who were responsible for his care.
Renda refused comment Monday, but alleged in her complaint that, “The extensive injuries, suffering and death [of Andrew Renda] were caused solely by the violation of [Marsh and Etzkorn’s] duties toward the plaintiff.”
On Dec. 15, 2010, Andrew went to Saint Mary’s in Amsterdam for medical attention. Etzkorn, a doctor of internal medicine, and Marsh, a surgeon, said a cholecystectomy, the removal of Andrew’s gallbladder, was necessary. However, because of his condition, the procedure was delayed.
A few days later, his abdominal pain got worse, and a CT scan found a duodenal perforation, a life-threatening condition associated with blunt-force trauma to the stomach.
The doctors could not treat the condition because of Andrew’s chronic renal failure, congestive heart failure and a blood infection called sepsis.
“While under the care of the defendant physicians,” the complaint alleged, “Andrew Renda’s condition continued to deteriorate.”
Two days before Christmas, he was transferred to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, where an infected abscess in his abdomen was drained. On Jan. 1, he passed away “as a result of the advanced sepsis resulting in multisystem organ failure,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit was not expressly clear on what the two doctors should have done differently during the process, but charged that Andrew Renda’s injuries and eventual death were a direct result of their negligence.
Saint Mary’s Director of Community Relations Jerri Cortese explained the hospital was not included in the lawsuit because both Marsh and Etzkorn are independent physicians, owning their own practices but operating within the Saint Mary’s facility.
“Malpractice suits are handled by attorneys privately,” she said, adding that those in the medical profession generally hold malpractice insurance to pay for such lawsuits.
Marsh and Etzkorn could not be reached for comment Monday, nor could Renda’s attorney, Peter Moschetti. According to the complaint, Moschetti and his client are looking for a “substantial monetary judgment against the defendant physicians.”