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February 23, 1979 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-23

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- ;.;

Widow sues V.A. hospitalfor malpractice

Charging that her. husband's death at
Veterans Administration Hospital in the sum-
mer of 1975 was the result of negligent treat-
ment and surgery, Cora Blaine filed suit
yesterday in U.S. District Court demanding
more than $1.8 million in damages.
Blaine's husband, Bennie, was admitted to
VA Hospital July 21, 1975, complaining of
stomach pains. He remained a patient at the
hospital'until his death from surgery com-
plications on Aug. 28, 1975.;
DURING THE summer of 1975, a series of
mysterious breathing failures occurred at VA

Hospital and resulted in the deaths of several
patients. Blaine reportedly suffered three
breathing failures before his death.
The suit filed by the widowed Blaine charges
that "agents and employees" of the VA
Hospital gave "on numerous times the drug
Pavulon and the antibiotic Gentamicin" to her
husband. The suit also states that these "agen-
ts and employees should have known or made
efforts to discover the fatal effects of Pavulon
and Gentamicin, but did not do so."
Ann Arbor attornery George Sallade, who is
handling the case for Blaine, said both Pavulon
and Gentomician were given to her husband as

treatment under hospital orders. "These facts
are in his medical records," Sallade said.
SALLADE TERMED this treatment
"negligent," stating that the dangers of Gen-
tWamicin and Pavulon were already well known
to experts and had been reported in the
American Medical Association Journal.
"There is a causal relationship between the use
of the drugs and (Bennie) Blaine's death,"
Sallade said.
During the summer of 1975, a series of
mysterious breathing failures occurred at VA
Hospital, resulting in the immediate deaths of
some patients. Blaine suffered three breathing

failures while at the hospital-July 29, Aug. 12
and 15.
Two VA nurses, Leonora Perez and Filipina
Narciso, were charged with injecting Pavulon,
a powerful muscle relaxant, into the in-
travenous feeding tubes of Blaine and eight of
their other patients. Two of the patients died
following respiratory arrests.
Narcisco and Perez were found guilty in their
first trial, but were absolved of guilt when the
government declined to contest an appeal by
the nurses.
"I feel that the nurses have been found in-
nocent in the court's final judgment," said

THE BLAINE lawsuit also claims malprac-
tice on the part of the VA Hospital staff con-
tributed to Blaine's death. The suit cited
negligently performed operations as a direct
cause of death, as well as failing to provide "a
standard of care at least of the quality of care
practiced by other hospitals in the area."
Included in the charges of staff negligence
were assertions that Blaine was not kept clean
while he was in the hospital, due in part to the
fouling of his clothes by a Coloplast bag that
wasn't emptied or replaced regularly.
See WIDOW, Page 9

See Editorial Page

Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom


High - 500
Low -low 30s
See Today for details

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 121

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Friday, February 23, 1979

Ten Cents

v - - -i . 7 ... r ..

Fourteen Pages

League to
oppose mall
plans for
In alls St.
Members of the Michigan League
Board of Governors are preparing to
urge the Ann Arbor City Council Mon-
day night to reject a Planning Com-
mission recommendation that the west
side of Ingalls Street be given to the
The area involved is the west side of
Ingalls Street between' North Univer-
sity and Washington Street, which
separates Hill Auditorium and the
Michigan League. The Unviersity plans
to convert the street into a pedestrian
mall at some future date, thereby
eliminating about 80 parking spaces.
Manager Patricia Lawson believes that
city retention of the street would
prevent the proposed mall. "Prac-
tically speaking, if the city retains the
street, that would be a pretty good
assurance that it would stay open," she
Lawson explained that many com-
munity members commute to the
League each day for meals, and that
older people would find such visits dif-
ficult without easy parking.
One Dental School librarian believes
that the mall would result in an in-
creased burden on the Dental School
parking structure, which is near the
League, Hill Auditorium, Power Ceni-
ter, and Mendelssohn Theatre.
See LEAGUE, Page 14
" The Wisconsin Badgers.
broke their losing streak by
beating Michigan by one point in
basketball action last night, 66-65.
The game killed the Wolverines'
last lingering hope for a playoff
bid. For the obituary, see Page
" There were many losers in
the dorm lottery Wednesday . See
story on Page 9.
" Markley council discusses,
anti-nuke donation. For details
see Page 9.
Read the Today
column. Page 3

C hina attaeks:

defense lines
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Chinese infantrymen and tankS
smashed into defense lines in Vietnam's northeast corner in a two,
pronged assault that .could cut off thousands of Hanoi's troops
from reinforcements and supplies, intelligence sources in
Bangkok and Peking reported yesterday.
A government official in Peking said China is not yet satisfied'
it has achieved the objective of its six-day-old invasion.
"THE THING IS that the Vietnamese must feel our punishe
ment," Japan's Kyodo news service quoted the unidentified

Lesson in vanit Daily Photo by CYRENA CHANG
This unsuspecting canine learned the dangers of vanity when he tried to get a bter look at himself in the Huron River yester-
day. The dog's sleek coat got a good soaking before the four-legged creature booted off having learned a quick lesson in
Ceilar employees meet with board

official as saying.
Peking says the invasion was laun-
ched to retaliate for Vietnamese border
provocations and to "teach a lesson" to
High-ranking Soviet defense officials
said yesterday that the Kremlin would
supply Vietnam with "necessary help"
in its fight with China.
Vietnam said fighting raged yester-
day on battlefields all along' the 450-
mile Chinese-Vietnamese border, the
Soviet news agency Tass reported.
IN NEW YORK, the United States
and three other Western nations called
on the U.N. Security Council to meet to
consider "the situation in Southeast
Asia" - meaning both the Chinese in-
vasion of Vietnam and the earlier Viet-
nainese invasion of Cambodia.
Tass charged in a report from Hanoi
that the Chinese intend to annex Viet-
namese border territory. Peking has
said repeatedly it does not want any
land, but some intelligence sources
suggest the Chinese might hold onto
some border ;districts to use as
bargaining chips in eventual
The Soviets have warned China to
pull out of Vietnam, a Moscow ally,
"before it is too late." But they have
See CHINESE, Page 5

U.S. envoy's
death leads:,
to cut in,
Afgan aide
WASHINGTON (AP) - President
Carter has ordered a substantial cut in
U.S. aid to Afganistan, partly because
of the slaying of, U.S. Ambassador
Adolph Dubs, a White House
spokesman said yesterday.
"Certainly'the decision does take into
account circumstances surrounding the
death of Mr. Dubs," press secretary
Jody Powell told reporters.
said U.S. economic aid would be
severely reduced from the current
levels of $15 million in fiscal 1979 and
$17 million in 1980. But Powell said he
could not cite the new figure.
"I do not have yet an exact dollar
figure on the amount of aid remaining,"
Powell said.
In addition,he announced that a
military training program costing
$250,000 in fiscal 1979 would be ter-
POWELL SAID small development
assistance projects already under way,
which he characterized as "essentially
humanitarian," would continue.
The press secretary said the cutback
resulted from an "ongoing review of
our relations with Afganistan and the
policies of that government" which
began last year when a Soviet-backed
regime seized power.

Meeting with employees of the
University Cellar Bookstore yesterday
afternoon, the Cellar Board of Direc-
tors heard their response to a proposed
managerial structure change, but
would not make a decision that would
delay implementation of the change un-
til the workers' union could negotiate it.
The employees oppose the new plan,
claiming it will undermine their role in
the decision-making process of the
store. Currently most of the store
departments are run on a collective
THE NEW structure was scheduled
to begin today. However, store
manager Tudor Bradley said that while
he will still accept applications for the

new jobs, he won't start filling them un-
til the board reaches a final decision. "I
think we should hold back on this until
the board meets again and decides
what to do," he said.
The employees' union, International
Workers of the World (IWW) Local 660
asked for the meeting so the board
could hear the employees' criticisms of
the new structure. The policy had been
decided by the board in a closed
executive session without worker input,
a move that angered the store workers.
THE UNION wants this structure to
be included in upcoming contract
negotiations with the management.
They feel this issue belongs in the con-
tract under work conditions and should
be negotiated as such.
Carillon neur
takes his
bell ringing
Everyone hears his concerts as they
dodge puddles on their way across the
Diag or sit dawdling in Angell Hall. But
they can't see the performer as he sits
at the console in a soundproof cabin in
the bell tower.
Hudson Ladd, 34, is the University
carillonneur. He plays a most unusual
instrument - the carillon.
The carillon is an instrument of bells,
some of which weigh seven tons or
more. The bells, which stand stationary

Board President Larry Pulkownik
doesn't think the board will grant the
union's request. "It is my considered
opinion that we will not negotiate this
See CELLAR, Page 5

Students told how to
deal with FBI, CIA

Students were informed of their
rights in relation to FBI investigations
at a discussion last night sponsored by
Student Legal Services and, the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA).
About 25 people attended the
discussion, where Student Legal Ser-
vices lawyers Barb Kessler and Molly
Reno addressed specific issues and
questions involving students and
protection they have against any in-
telligence agency investigation.
BRET EYNON, University graduate,
who is working on a major research
project on student radicalism in Ann
Arbor, spoke on the past history of FBI
investigations on campus. Also ad-
dressing problems with the FBI on
campus, MSA Vice President Kate
Rubin spoke of recent incidents on
campus where the FBI has been known
to have contacted students.
"We know the FBI is on campus, and
we know they've been here before,"
said Rubin. "It's not just a few horror
stories here and there."
Eynon commented on the past ac-
tivities of intelligence agencies on
campus and said, "We've been looking
at, what people have been doing

New Left as violent drug users, sexual
deviants," Eynon said. "They also tried
to create tension between groups."
LAWYERS Kessler and Reno
stressed the best thing for a student to
do if he or she were contacted by the
FBI would be to refuse to talk to the
agents. They also said, however, that
See FBI, Page 9


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