WESTFIELD, NJ — The family of the late Westfield High School principal who died from complications following his donation of bone marrow to a boy in France has dismissed the hospital at which the principal was treated from a medical malpractice lawsuit in the case, court records show.
The suit in which the late Dr. Derrick Nelson’s family claims an anesthesiologist allowed the beloved Westfield High School principal’s oxygen levels to toxic levels during the transplant, however, continues against anesthesiologist Dr. Jerry M. Baratta and New Jersey Healthcare Specialists.
“Claims against the hospital have been dismissed,” said David A. Mazie, attorney for the family. “And we’re not inclined to discuss it any further.”
Court records show the family voluntarily dismissed the Hackensack University Medical Center from the case “with prejudice,” which means the case could not be case could not be reinstated against the hospital.
The lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Elizabeth by Dr. Nelson’s fiancé, Sheronda Braker, claims that the anesthesiologist failed to consider Nelson’s sleep apnea during the Feb. 18 procedure and as a result failed to remedy Nelson’s hypoxia. A 44-year-old resident of Plainfield, he and had served as an administrator in Westfield Public Schools since 2010.
In court papers, attorneys for Baratta and New Jersey Healthcare Specialists deny the family’s claims pertaining to Nelson’s oxygen saturation, and that the anesthesiologist’s actions were a “breach of the standard of care.”
The defendants’ attorneys further deny the family’s claim that Nelson “experienced great pain, suffering and permanent injury.”
Following the case’s dismissal, Hackensack University Medical Center named a student center at its campus in Nutley and Clifton after the beloved Westfield High School principal.
The Dr. Derrick E. Nelson Student Life Services at the Hackensack School of Medicine memorializes Nelson’s life of service to his country and community, school officials said. The location, which now bears Nelson’s name, offers students and faculty a place to socialize, relax and interact, the officials said.
Hundreds of students and staff at Westfield High School had memorialized Dr. Nelson following his death. The governor had had also ordered flags flown at half-mast in his honor. Nelson had served 20 years in the Army Reserve and had been deployed in Afghanistan in 2013.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh
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