Patient Safety | 02.17.23
Scripps Mercy Hospital Sued After Woman Dies, Family Believes Peanut Butter Was the Cause
The family of Jane Lee, a woman with special needs, is suing Scripps Mercy Hospital in suburban San Diego for medical malpractice after she died. The 27-year-old had autism and was nonverbal. The lawsuit alleges Lee was given a peanut butter sandwich on Oct. 2, 2021, while in the care of Scripps Mercy Hospital despite medical records documenting her allergy to peanuts. Hospital records show that Lee, who was living in a group home at the time, was admitted to the hospital for "altered mental status" and "essential agitation." The records say she became unresponsive after eating the sandwich and was transferred to the intensive care unit. She died less than two weeks later. According to her death certificate, "acute respiratory failure due to acute on chronic agitation" was listed as an immediate cause of death.