LARGO — A jury has decided a doctor and clinic should pay $2.25 million to the widow of an 81-year-old Clearwater man who died after going to the hospital for kidney stones.
According to a lawsuit filed in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court by Marie Gabrielli, her husband David Gabrielli received surgery for kidney stones on Nov. 20, 2008 at a Largo hospital. The next day, Dr. Douglas Turnbull ordered morphine for him.
But Gabrielli, a retired postal worker, had a condition which meant he should not have received the morphine, which caused an "adverse neurologic reaction" when he received it previously, the suit said.
Warnings not to give morphine to Gabrielli were "literally all over his chart," said attorney Wil Florin, who handled the case with attorney Eric Czelusta. Gabrielli even had a red armband warning against morphine, Florin said.
After getting the morphine in 2008, Gabrielli "started slurring his speech and became forgetful, confused and incontinent," according to the lawsuit against Turnbull and the Diagnostic Clinic in Largo. Unable to eat on his own, Gabrielli was given a feeding tube and transferred to a rehabilitation facility. He was taken off life support and died on Christmas Day.
During trial this week, the defense argued that Gabrielli's death was not due to the morphine, and that giving him a small amount of morphine did not amount to negligence. The defense attorney could not be reached for comment.