Mercy Medical Center south entrance (copy)

Mercy Medical Center

A man is suing CHI Mercy Medical Center, Umpqua Orthopedics and two doctors for alleged negligence that led to his wife’s death four days after she shut her hand in a car door in 2017.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Douglas County Circuit Court on June 29 by Allan Kusler, seeks up to $1.2 million in economic and noneconomic damages.

The complaint alleges that Marilyn Kusler went to CHI Mercy Medical Center on July 9, 2017, after shutting her hand in a car door the day before.

Her right thumb was swollen and bruised and Marilyn Kusler complained of lightheadedness, according to a copy of the lawsuit. The emergency department doctor diagnosed her with mild dehydration and discharged her, according to court documents.

The following morning Marilyn Kusler was confused and agitated so her husband called 911 around 9:30 a.m.

Around 3:40 p.m. a doctor examined Marilyn Kusler’s thumb and noted it “had dark discoloration and a laceration oozing blood,” according to court documents.

The doctor was suspicious that Marilyn Kusler might have been suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease, according to court documents.

Marilyn Kusler was admitted into the intensive care unit for a urinary tract infection, septic shock, renal failure and acute metabolic encephalopathy, or abnormalities in chemicals that affect brain function.

Around 5 p.m., Nicholes Sexton, an orthopedic surgeon, evaluated Marilyn Kusler. He put her thumb in a splint and said he would check on her the next day, according to court documents.

Two hours later, Razvan Gosman, a doctor at Mercy Medical Center, charted that he could not get Kusler’s blood pressure. Gosman stated that Kusler’s “severely injured right thumb” could be the source of sepsis, according to court documents.

The suit alleges that Mercy staff failed to monitor Kusler’s thumb during the night and didn’t report her vital signs to a doctor. On July 11, Kusler’s right arm was reported to be cold and swollen.

Doctor Susan Williams consulted with specialists at Oregon Health and Science University, who recommended surgery, according to court documents.

After surgery, Kusler was flown to OHSU where multiple surgeons operated on her, amputating her right arm and removing infectious tissue from her chest wall. According to court documents, her condition deteriorated overnight and she died on July 12.

The suit alleges that the defendants were negligent by failing to timely diagnose necrotizing fasciitis, by failing to properly treat the disease and by failing to transfer her to OHSU in a timely manner.

The family is seeking $1 million in non-economic damages and $200,750 for medical costs, funeral expenses and loss of services.

Representatives for Mercy declined to comment.

Derek Johnson, Allan Kusler’s attorney, did not return calls in time for deadline.

Saphara Harrell can be reached at 541-957-4216 or Or on Twitter @daisysaphara.

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Crime and Natural Resources Reporter

Saphara Harrell is the crime and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She previously worked at The World in Coos Bay. Follow her on Twitter @daisysaphara.

(12) comments


A bad situation indeed. However, unlike everyone here apparently, for 50 years our family has used MMC with only occasionally having to go to Eugene for anything. And only because Mercy didn't offer it. We found the MMC staff friendly, caring and professional during during all our times with them, with the exception of a neurosurgeon who was a nightmare.


My mother just passed away from Mery’s incompetence. We took her in for a simple aspiration suction and she came home with C-Diff, took her in to be treated for the c-Diff and she came home with a uti of staphylococcus and streptococcus. Took her to the out patient clinic to get a pic line for iv antibiotics to treat the resistant uti and it caused a blood clot. Blood clot treated in Grants Pass but when it broke up it caused a stroke and she died a week later. All because Mercy messed up a culture and thought she had an infection when she did not. Treated her for it with broad spectrum antibiotics and exposed her to C-Diff. Then messed up a catheter and gave her a nasty uti. Their sanitation and sterile processes are a joke at best and deadly in mom’s case.


Sorry for this family's loss, it sounds like the medical care was lacking when it was needed the most.


Not at all surprising and very sad. Will anything ever change? This hospital has been kind of a scary joke my entire life around douglas county. Something has to give. Something has to change before our entire society breaks. Our local governement, even state and federal for that matter, seem to have turned a deaf ear to the people in favor pursuing growth and economic gains. They don't really care. Don't believe me? Try writing your local politician. See what kind of a response you get.


I'm fairly new here myself, and I've heard the same Mercy reputation slamming. My daughter-in-law is an RN here, and she says to stay away from that place. I've seen them in "Action" myself. I'm curious how they acquire all these awards for excellence I've seen on hwy billboards? A simple blood test could have saved that woman's life. If that Dr suspected NF he should have taken immediate steps. NF is VERY aggressive, and resistant to antibiotics. It usually results in amputations to save a life. My friend lost his right arm from NF. They operated on him within 24 hrs. Even at that he almost lost his life.


I moved here a year ago, not knowing anyone. But a common thread of information from locals was that medical care in Roseburg is poor and, be careful (wary?) of Mercy Hospital doctors.

Although inconvenient, I have chosen respected health care providers in Grants Pass and Eugene. I do hope this situation gets better in Roseburg.


This is long overdue. Mercy has been very irresponsible. I myself know of others who suffered because of their negligence. They really lack common sense in my opinion.I think of how My son would have died had I listened to them and taken him home with a 107 degrees fever. It saved his life that my family and I insisted he stay overnight, against their advice. I really feel for this family . It's a great loss and it's sad he has to worry about dealing with legal issues on top it all. My condolences.


I would like some information on how the family filed the law suit because my mom died last year from septic shock also due from negligence.


Call Mr. Kusler's attorney.


Sorry for your loss. Start by getting the medical records.


I'm sorry that first statement didn't sound quite right. I meant that there is no excuse for the hospital not to do their job. You are paying them and they should provide the best possible treatment.


A very sad situation. I am so sorry that this happened. There is no excuse for not receiving the appropriate medical care.

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