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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

The Cruelest Irony

(CN) - A hospital secretary was killed when a woman on prescription drugs crashed her car into the hospital's reception area, the late secretary's husband says. He blames the driver's doctors, who allegedly failed to warn their 76-year old patient not to drive while "under the influence of mind altering and pain killing drugs."

Albert Plante says his late wife, Jane Plante, was working at Brockton Hospital in Massachusetts "when she was struck and crushed by a motor vehicle operated by Jane Berghold while said Berghold was under the influence of mind altering and pain killing drugs".

Plante says the crash caused "injuries and death to Susan D. Plante and others."

He had three children with his wife, who was 59 when she died in 2007.

Plante sued the Compass Medical office, four of its doctors and a nurse practitioner in the office, in Plymouth, Mass., Superior Court.

Plante says the driver, Berghold, had been a patient of Compass Medical since 2002, and suffered from "diabetes mellitus, stroke, congestive heart failure and hypertension." He says her doctors had "repeatedly treated Jane Berghold for numerous instances of dizziness, lightheadedness, and falls," and that she had complained of "dizzy spells" while driving.

Plante adds that the Compass physicians had prescribed her "mind altering and pain killing medications," including Tramadol, Atenolol, and Neurontin.

Plante says the doctors should have known that Berghold could not safely operate a vehicle while on the drugs, but failed to warn her not to do so.

Susan Plante "suffered massive injuries to her head and torso ... and later died from said injuries," her husband says. Plante also suffered excruciating pain and died, he adds.

The hospital's chief of radiation therapy also suffered fatal injuries in the accident when he too was hit by the car in the reception area, according to press reports.

Albert Plante demands damages from Compass and Drs. George Clairmont, Ersan Yalin, Jonathan Ellis, Michelle Beaupre and nurse practitioner Eileen Comeau, alleging negligence and wrongful death.

He is represented by Edward Reynolds with Ward, Walsh & Rice of Fitchburg, Mass., and James McCarthy of Boston.

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