plaintiff kept no treatment records for the decedent. He
provided Valium to the decedent without a prescription. The
plaintiff also withheld vital historical information from the
physicians at Presbyterian Hospital when the decedent was
admitted, which effectively handcuffed their ability to treat the
decedent and prevent the withdrawal symptoms which, when
manifested, required the use of restraints.
If blame is to be assessed for decedent's death, it is
defendant's position that fault lies with Dr. Ralph Speken. In
that Presbyterian Hospital now runs the risk of financial damage
as a result of being named as a defendant in this lawsuit,
Presbyterian Hospital is entitled to assert a claim for
indemnification and/or contribution against the plaintiffs, based
on Dr. Ralph H. Speken's own malpractice and negligence.
Seth Speken, the decedent, was admitted to Presbyterian
Hospital on August 21, 1993, and remained admitted until his
death on August 27, 1993. For approximately two years prior to
this admission, he was treated by Dr. Ralph Speken for
psychiatric and medical problems.
The exact nature of Dr. Speken's treatment of the decedent
is unclear due to the obstruction of inquiry into this area at
Dr. Speken's deposition and due to Dr. Speken's failure to keep
treatment records. However, the record of Desai's Pharmacy and
Dr. Speken's "control" medication prescription records establish
that, for at least 17 months prior to the decedent's death, Dr.
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