WARREN - Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas A.Swift has approved a $1.35 million settlement reached earlier this year in the wrongful death case of a 40-year-old Cortland veteran who died in 2010 after undergoing routine gallbladder surgery at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland.
The case was filed by attorney Christopher Shaker in behalf of Carla S. Ream, wife of Shane G. Ream, who medically retired from the U.S. Army following an injury from a motorcycle accident in 1995 while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
The wrongful death / malpractice action was filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland and assigned to Judge Benita Y. Pearson, who approved the settlement in February, after the case was mediated.
Swift approved the settlement and the certificate terminating the case last month, showing proceeds distributed to Ream's wife and a daughter along with attorneys fees and expenses.
Ream was a member of the Paralyzed American Veterans and Disabled American Veterans who had earned a OWE/OWA ''student of the year'' award in 1987 at Warren G. Harding High School as a senior. He served in the U.S. Army from September 1991 to January 1996.
Pleadings in the case include an account from his wife that state Ream went to the hospital Feb. 24, 2010, and underwent routine gallbladder removal along with common bile duct obstruction surgery. The surgery went well with no immediate complications.
He was in recovery for an extended period of time to monitor him due to his disabilities before he was transferred to his normal room on the spinal cord unit.
Carla Ream said she and family members stayed in the room for about two hours before leaving only to learn about five hours later that he had died.
Shaker's lawsuit claimed that after the procedure, Ream developed a significant drop in blood pressure and a rise in pulse rate which resulted in an intra-abdominal bleeding.
''No physician was notified by the nursing staff about (Ream's) major change in status. He was found in cardiopulmonary arrest,'' the lawsuit states.