El Jebel woman files suit against local doctor, clinic | AspenTimes.com

El Jebel woman files suit against local doctor, clinic

Tim Mutrie

An El Jebel woman is suing an Aspen doctor and a local clinic, claiming a drug prescribed to her contributed to a stroke she suffered in July 1998.

Through attorney Martin Freeman, Colleen Daly filed the suit last Friday in Pitkin County District Court. It names Dr. Lawrence R. Menconi and the Aspen Center for Women’s Health, Inc. as defendants.

The suit claims Menconi, Daly’s former doctor at the Aspen Center for Women’s Health on Main Street, was providing her with follow-up treatment in mid-June 1998 after she underwent an operation. According to the suit, the procedure caused Daly to suffer from post-operative internal bleeding.

“As part of Ms. Daly’s follow-up treatment, [Menconi and the clinic], with negligence, gross negligence and recklessness, then and there supplied Ms. Daly with Ortho Tri-Cyclen (OTC), a birth-control pill sometimes given to cause post [operative] bleeding to subside.”

Menconi and the clinic “supplied the OTC to Ms. Daly with knowledge that its use by her exposed her to a high risk of stroke,” the suit claims.

A call to the clinic – where Menconi is employed, according to the suit – seeking comment on the allegations, was not returned Tuesday. Neither Daly nor her attorney, Martin Freeman, could be reached for comment.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is an oral contraceptive for women, which also “helps reduce mild to moderate acne,” according to its manufacturer.

A Web site for the drug clearly warns that: “Oral contraceptives are not for everybody. … Serious risks, which can be life threatening, include blood clots, stroke and heart attacks, and are increased if you smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially if you’re over 35.”

Daly, a smoker over the age of 40, claims that the defendants knew or should have known that her circumstances “absolutely contra-indicated” her use of OTC, according to the suit. Nevertheless, she was prescribed the drug, with a dosage of two pills per day, the suit said.

“Daly took two OTC pills per day as she was instructed to do by defendants, with the result that, on July 2, 1998, Ms. Daly suffered a stroke, which has permanently disabled her.”

As a result of the stroke, Daly sustained a loss of earning power, “a complete loss of ability to raise her children,” medical expenses, paralysis, pain and loss of enjoyment of life, among other negative side effects, the suit claims.

Daly, who is now receiving treatment in Lakewood, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages to be proven at a trial by jury.

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