Woman sues St. Rita’s over husband’s death


First Posted: 9/24/2014

LIMA — A Gilboa woman is suing St. Rita’s Medical Center and others over the death of her husband.

Gloria J. Lugibihl, the executor for the estate of Gregory L. Lugibihl Sr., filed the lawsuit this month in Allen County Common Pleas Court seeking more than $25,000. She names as defendants St. Rita’s, Catholic Health Partners, Dr. Augustine Tuma, Hospitalists of St. Rita’s and parties yet to be found.

A spokesperson for St. Rita’s could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit said Gregory Lugibihl died Aug. 28, 2013. Lugibihl was a patient at St. Rita’s on March 28, 2013, and was under the care of Tuma. Lugibihl was in the intensive care unit recovering from surgery from the day before.

Lugibihl was on a ventilator helping him breathe. Still on March 28, 2013, Lugibihl had periods of time he was off the ventilator for a dangerous period of time, according to the lawsuit.

The defendants failed to recognize Lugibihl was off the ventilator and failed to take timely action leading to a severe hypoxic brain injury, the lawsuit said.

Lugibihl died five months later, which the lawsuit said was the result of his brain injury.

All employees connected to Lugibihl’s death at St. Rita’s acted in the scope of their employment and the hospital is responsible for their actions and alleged negligence, according to the lawsuit.

The hospital and its employees were negligent in the care of Lugibihl ultimately leading to his death. He suffered a brain injury, incurred medical expenses, and had pain and suffering, according to the lawsuit.

Gloria Lugibihl also said she suffered the loss of her husband. She also had funeral and burial expenses, according to the lawsuit.