Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Florida Fights Medical Malpractice Case

Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Florida Fights Medical Malpractice CaseDr. Dennis Stapleton, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Naples, Florida, is facing a medical malpractice trial related to the 2004 death of Immokalee civic leader Ann Olesky, the Marco News reports.

According to the publication, Stapleton performed an aortic and mitral valve replacement surgery on Olesky, then 61, but prosecutors have accused the surgeon of ignoring a phone call about a code blue involving Olesky.

Olesky passed away six days after undergoing heart surgery at NCH Downtown Naples Community Hospital in 2004. Her husband, Edward "Ski" Olesky sued Stapleton in August 2005, accusing the surgeon and his physician assistant Joseph Deily for medical malpractice, negligence and causing his wife's death. The hospital was not named in the lawsuit.

Annie Olesky was a well-known community member, spearheading many grassroots efforts including one to clean up Lake Trafford, which now has a park named in her honor. Each year, the Olesky couple would play Santa and Mrs. Claus to the delight of local children. The couple also owned a local marina.

In the most recent stage of the trial, Stapleton took the stand and defended himself against the numerous allegations. According to the surgeon, Olesky died because two heart attacks made her condition untreatable.

Previously, lawyers for Olesky showed evidence that Stapleton was allegedly eating at Chops Steakhouse just blocks from the hospital when the first code blue occurred. Stapleton testified that the code blue was called off once Olesky was only deemed to be dizzy.

The last trial in the wrongful death lawsuit regarding Ann Olesky ended in a mistrial in 2006, according to the Naples Daily News. Jurors deliberated for more than three days in the case, which lasted a month longer than originally anticipated. The second trial began August 23.