A woman, who blamed the death of her husband in 1976 on lack of proper medical equipment at the now-defunct Doctors Hospital, has been awarded $135,000 in an out-of-court settlement, according to lawyers in the case.
The widow of Carl A. S. Coan, former staff director of the Senate subcommittee on housing and urban affairs, had filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, where her husband had undergone a prostate operation. After suffering cardiac arrest during the operation, Coan was transferred to Georgetown University Hospital, where he later died.
The lawsuit contended that Doctors Hospital failed to use an appropriate heart-monitoring device that might have detected Coan's heart condition earlier. Although Doctors Hospital, which went out of business in 1979, was ultimately dismissed from the case, a surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a nurse who worked at the hospital and were involved in the operation, ultimately contributed to the settlement, according to attorney Henry E. Weil, who represented Coan's widow.
Georgetown University Hospital also contributed a small amount to the settlement, a hospital spokesman said.
Coan was widely recognized in national housing legislation circles and had been staff director of the Senate subcommittee since 1961. He was known for his work on mortgage finance and urban development programs sponsored by the federal government.