SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A family is suing a Sioux City hospital for an alleged wrongful death, claiming a man could have been saved if not for the negligence of staff.

According to the lawsuit filed with the District Court for Woodbury County, the family of Michael Dreckman out of Le Mars filed a lawsuit against Mercy Medical Center (MercyOne). It demands a jury trial on one count of medical negligence and one count of vicarious liability.

The court filing states that Dreckman was admitted to MercyOne hospital in Sioux City on September 10, 2021, for a medical complication related to his heart. Dreckman underwent a successful heart operation on September 15, 2021. The surgery was considered successful and he was admitted the intensive care unit.

A couple days after the surgery, Dreckman was sitting up and walking, but on Sep. 18, 2021, he suffered from a rapid heart rates of 180 beats per minute, documents state. He was given three doses of amiodarone, at 3:34 a.m., 4:53 a.m., and 6:54 a.m., and also started on an intravenous (IV) drip. The lawsuit alleges Dreckman was given a “toxic dose of amiodarone” by MercyOne staff, and Dreckman was last seen sitting upright in his recliner at 8 a.m.

Based on records, Dreckman’s heart started to slow down at 8:10 a.m. on September 18; allegedly ten minutes after being last seen by a medical professional. The records showed that Dreckman’s heart began to flat-line at 8:18 a.m., followed by intermittent slow beats. The documents stated that “despite Mr. Dreckman supposedly being monitored by telemetry, Mercy Medical Center staff did not respond to his bradycardia (slow heart rate).” The documents allege that records then showed a full five minutes without any intervention.

Around 8:25 a.m., Dreckman’s family allegedly went into the hospital room and indicated that he was unresponsive and “grey.” They immediately sought help from the hospital staff resulting in a “Code Blue.” After attempts to stabilize Dreckman, he was pronounced dead at 9:06 a.m.

The documents stated that MercyOne “refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing in its care of Mr. Dreckman and has refused to offer a single dollar to resolve this case.”  

In the case of negligence, Dreckman’s family accuses MercyOne of failing to “exercise the ordinary care and medical skill in keeping with their profession,” in the care and treatment of Dreckman. Documents state they failed in multiple ways, including by giving him a toxic dose of amiodarone and failing to monitor his vitals. The negligence allegedly led to his “premature and untimely death.” Regarding the count of vicarious liability, the lawsuit states that MercyOne is directly responsible for the negligence of its employees’ care for Dreckman.

MercyOne released the following statement in regard to the lawsuit: 

“Safety of our patients, colleagues and communities is a top priority at MercyOne. We are saddened by the loss of Mr. Dreckman and our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time. As this is an active legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment.” 

The lawsuit asks for a jury demand and a judgment that the court decides to “fully and fairly compensate” the family for the damages.