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Jury: No negligence in UNL student’s death after surgery to correct snoring

November 22, 2018

A Lancaster County jury has found in favor of a anesthesiology group accused of medical negligence in the death of a 21-year-old Lincoln college student after outpatient surgery to correct snoring.

William Goldhammer’s father, Tim, sued Lincoln Anesthesiology Group following William Goldhammer’s death Dec. 17, 2012, five days after a procedure at CHI St. Elizabeth hospital to correct a deviated septum.

In the complaint, Tim Goldhammer said his son, a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was brain-dead within minutes of receiving general anesthesia.

Goldhammer’s attorney, Ronald Palagi, alleged the anesthesiology group was negligent for failing to recognize the signs of bronchospasm and anaphylaxis and to timely treat it with epinephrine and for failing to timely call a code blue.

For the family to win the case, the jury had to find the certified registered nurse anesthetist and doctor who treated William Goldhammer had been professionally negligent and that he died as a result of it.

Lincoln Anesthesiology Group’s attorney, William Tannehill, denied it was negligent in its treatment or that any departure from the standard of care led to Goldhammer’s death.

Tannehill contended staff acted in a reasonable manner and in full compliance with all appropriate standards of care.

The trial started Nov. 5 and ended Friday. The jury deliberated for more than a day before returning with a verdict in favor of Lincoln Anesthesiology Group.

William Goldhammer was from Hebron and was pursuing a degree in sociology when he died.

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