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$2.5 million lawsuit claims Eugene surgery led to man's death

Court documents name Northwest Anesthesia Physicians, which has offices in Springfield, and doctor John Melton as defendants.

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 7:05 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 7:07 PM

EUGENE Ore. -- A family of an Alsea man is seeking $2.5 million from Northwest Anesthesia Physicians and doctor John Melton after their loved one died on the operating table.

The court documents filed in Lane County Circuit Court allege wrongful death and medical malpractice. The documents name Northwest Anesthesia Physicians, which has offices in Springfield, and Melton as defendants.

The documents go on to state that in 2015, 62-year-old Michael Hauser went to Slocum Orthopedic Surgery Center in Eugene for a routine surgery. The lawsuit alleges Hauser was brain dead before the operation even began due to a lack of oxygen. He died three days later.

The family’s attorney, Dan Rayfield, said it's the job of the anesthesiologist to make sure the patient has enough oxygen and Northwest Anesthesia Physicians failed to follow established patient safety rules.

Court documents state Melton was employed by Northwest Anesthesia Physicians and provided medical care and treatment to Hauser while at Slocum Orthopedic Surgery Center.

"We never file a case without reviewing it by numerous experts who practice in the field before we move forward so we feel confident about our case,” Rayfield said.

KEZI 9 News reached out to Northwest Anesthesia Physicians multiple times but we have not heard back. At this time, it's not clear if Melton is still employed with the company.

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