A family in Allegheny sued West Penn Hospital and four doctors for the death of Joe DiMatteo. They claimed that the medical personnel’s malpractice led to the death of their loved one.
Joe DiMatteo Health Condition
Joe DiMatteo, a resident of Allegheny County, suffered from acid reflux for a long time. DiMatteo ran health care podcast for hour-long sessions. When his condition deteriorated, he conducted thorough research on viable treatment options.
Joe chose a device that prevents acid from reaching an individual’s esophagus hoping it would allow him to continue with the podcast as he monitored his family’s pharmacies in Pittsburgh.
On March 21, 2017, Joe underwent minor surgery in West Penn hospital. The surgery involved implanting the medical device. Over the next few months, certified doctors in the hospital did gross malpractice which led to Joe’s demise on June 15, 2017, at the age of 61.
In the lawsuit, Mary DiMatteo, Joe’s daughter asked for compensation for her father’s death. Mary was the executor of Joe DiMatteo’s property and the lead plaintiff in the case. Nevertheless, Dan Laurent, West Penn hospital’s spokesman stated that the hospital had no comment to make on the matter.
In the hearing, Mary explained how Joe struggled to eat after the surgery. As a precautionary measure, he avoided food which exacerbated his condition including pasta sauce. With time, the acid reflux adversely affected his voice. He was concerned about his clarity during the podcast.
He visited West Penn Hospital in 2017 and consulted doctors on the best medical treatment options available. Occasionally, he met with Blair Jobe, AHN’s Esophageal and Lung Institute’s director, surgeon Yoshihiro Komatsu, Dr. Fahim Habib, and Dr. Kevi Christopher. They were defendants in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Joe DiMatteo instructed Dr. Christopher and Dr. Komatsu to insert the LINX Reflux Management System to prevent acid from further damaging his esophagus. The LINX system, a little bracelet of magnets is a useful technique in treating acid reflux. The device closes the sphincter area of a patient by adjusting its titanium beads.
Shortly after installation, the device seemed to operate well. However, after a few days, Joe started having trouble swallowing. A month later, he went back to West Penn hospital for an X-ray which revealed that the bracelet had shifted upwards from its initial position.
Joe DiMatteo’s Demise
On April 25, 2017, Joe went to West Penn to undergo surgery to remove LINX device. Dr. Habib and Dr. Komatsu implanted another device. During the surgery, doctors damaged his lymphatic system, causing chyle leak.
He made routine check-up visits at the hospital until June 12, 2017, when he underwent another surgery. Unfortunately, during the operation, Dr. Komatsu cut Joe’s descending aorta. According to the lawsuit, stopping the bleeding was an uphill task since he had been on coagulants.
DiMatteo was placed on life support when his situation worsened. He died three days later after his family agreed to remove him from life support.
Since their father died, the DiMatteos have carried on the pharmacies and podcasts by running Joe’s old shows. Sadly, their mother passed on five months later.
Today, Joe Jr. heads the company and is the lead pharmacist. The company has branches in Oakmont and Penn Hills. Dante also works with the company after graduating with a degree in Pharmacy while Mary handles accounting duties.