100-year-old woman sustained frostbite after oxygen tank sprang a leak, suit says

Kelly Holleran Mar. 14, 2012, 3:23pm


A 100-year-old woman sustained frostbite to various parts of her face after the oxygen tank she was utilizing sprang a leak and froze inside her nostrils, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Michael P. Magers as executor of the estate of Rachel F. Magers filed a lawsuit Feb. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Three Springs Lodge Nursing Home, Welge Nursing Home, Lincare and Caire.

In his complaint, Michael Magers alleges Rachel Magers was receiving liquid oxygen from a portable tank manufactured by Caire on March 22, 2010. As a Three Springs employee administered the oxygen, "a cloud of white vapor began to surround Rachel Magers's face and the oxygen tubing froze to Rachel Majors's neck and cheeks and the tip of the nose was frozen with the nasal prongs frozen within the nostrils," the suit states.

Because of the incident, Rachel Magers sustained frostbite, suffered from repeated pain and became further disabled and debilitated from the time of the incident until her death on May 15, 2010, according to the complaint.

Michael Magers partially blames nursing home employees for causing Rachel Magers's injuries, saying they negligently failed to provide necessary care, failed to provide properly supervised nursing care and failed to ensure that Rachel Magers received adequate supervision, among other negligent acts.

Lincare, which supplied the oxygen tank used in the incident, and Caire negligently supplied a leaking oxygen tank to a nursing home, failed to inspect the oxygen tank and failed to adequately assess the risk of the leaking of an oxygen tank, the suit states.

In his eight-count complaint, Michael Magers seeks a judgment of more than $400,000, plus attorney's fees and costs.

Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-109.

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