Widow Settles HI Medical Malpractice Claim for $4.2M

Dawn Snyder | September 22nd, 2016

hospitalA Hawaii widow recently reached a $4.2 million settlement with the federal government over her husband’s 2013 death. The man went into a clinic emergency room for a sore throat but did not come back out.

Antonio Marrero was 32 on the night of January 29 when he went into the emergency room at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. The doctor diagnosed him with an abscess in his tonsils and directed him to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. However, the same doctor continued to observe him and decided to sedate him to further evaluate the abscess.

Unfortunately there was no anesthesiologist present at the time and the 300-pound Marrero lost consciousness. The lawsuit Marrerro’s widow filed alleged that the clinic gave him too high a dose of the sedative. Given his weight, it allegedly caused his airway to close. Marrero became unable to breath and died.

Antonia Marrero leaves behind wife Rachel and their three young sons. They will receive monthly payments beginning in about a year, once federal approvals are completed. The medical malpractice settlement will be paid by the federal government because the rural Oahu clinic is a federally qualified nonprofit center subject to the Federal Tort Claims Act.

History of alleged hospital malpractice

Unfortunately this was not the first time a patient went to the Waianae Coat Comprehensive Health Center for a minor problem but ended up dead. On January 4, 2011, Chad Kitayama visited the clinic for a red lump between the toes on his left foot.

The doctor prescribed Bactrim, an antibiotic, but Kitayama returned six times with pain in his hip and thigh, a pounding headache, and red crusty eyes, but each time the doctors told him to keep taking the antibiotic. When he again returned to the ER on January 12, Kitayama was suffering from renal and liver failure due to an allergy to the antibiotic that the doctors had overlooked.

He died as a result of multiple organ failure on February 20, 2011. His fiancé settled a medical malpractice claim with the federal government for $2.5 million.

Medical negligence in New York

Though the deaths of Marrero and Kitayama occurred in Hawaii, they could have happened anywhere. In fact, New York leads the nation with one study finding that there are 116 malpractice cases for every 100,000 residents.

When the researchers broke down the types of malpractice alleged, New York was the worst in the country for surgery-related cases and treatment-related cases. It was in the top five worst states for alleged injuries related to misdiagnosis and obstetrics. The potential for death or severe injury is serious for these areas.

The Sanders Firm understands the impact that these kinds of medical errors can have on an individual and a family; we have been helping victims of medical malpractice in New York for nearly five decades. We are aggressive and tireless advocates with a track record of winning verdicts.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a hospital or clinic setting, call free a free consultation with one of our New York medical malpractice attorneys. 


  1. Newser, A Sore Throat Led to $4.2M Settlement, http://www.newser.com/story/231162/a-sore-throat-led-to-42m-settlement.html

  2. Honolulu Star Advertiser, Family reaches $4.2 million settlement with Waianae Coast health center, http://www.staradvertiser.com/2016/09/14/breaking-news/family-reaches-4-2-million-settlement-with-waianae-coast-health-center/

  3. CBS News, Huge settlement for family of man with sore throat who died at Hawaii clinic, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/huge-settlement-for-family-of-man-with-sore-throat-who-died-at-hawaii-clinic/ 

  4. Insurance Journal, $2.5M Settlement In Hawaii Malpractice Began With a Toe, http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2013/11/15/311437.htm