The family of a chronically ill 7 year old was given a large overdose of morphine in 2012 and died a week later has sued. What is worrying about this case is the nurse was individually sued, in addition to her employer. The patient, Samuel Cutliff had a disorder which prevented his cells from generating the appropriate amount energy and needed constant morphine injections to manage the pain. His home care nurse, Margaret Karnes, allegedly misread the physician’s order and administered ten times the prescribed amount of the pain killer. It was also alleged she made a similar mistake while employed by a hospital in South Carolina in 2003.
Last year the state nursing board imposed a $2,000 fine and ordered three mandatory classes after reviewing the incident. When the fine was not paid the nurses license was suspended. Tim and Mary Elizabeth Cutliff, parents of the deceased, are now suing both Karnes and her former employer (Pediatric Services of America).
Many employers purchase minimal liability coverage and in an incident involving catastrophic injuries it may not be enough. A nurse may be one their own to defend their name, their license and their personal assets. Purchasing a low cost nursing liability insurance policy will protect your livelihood.