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Widower sues Victoria doctors after wife's death

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 31, 2012 at 12:31 a.m.


A widower is suing two Crossroads doctors for the death of his wife.

Jose M. Rios, of Victoria, filed the lawsuit in March in district court against Drs. Yusuke M. Yahagi and Shah N. Afridi, both of Victoria.

Rios alleged the doctors departed from an accepted standard care when treating his 65-year-old wife, Maria S. Rios.

Maria Rios died April 22, 2010, during surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Both doctors filed formal responses denying the allegations.

Messages left for Rios' attorney, Robert O'Connor Jr., of Houston, as well as Afridi and his attorney, Richard C. Woolsey, of Corpus Christi, seeking additional comments were not returned.

Richard Wagner, of San Antonio, spoke on behalf of his client, Yahagi.

"There are some medical conditions so bad that even the most talented surgical hands cannot fix them. But, it is reassuring to know there are skilled surgeons among us willing to try," said Wagner. "This lawsuit is completely unmeritorious and I am confident the evidence will show Dr. Yahagi provided excellent care to this patient, despite her unfortunate passing" Wagner wrote in an email.

While expressing sympathy for the family's loss, he added, the "lawsuit is nothing more than unsubstantiated accusations."

He wrote that Maria Rios' aorta was so fragile that it was impossible to repair. "There was no way Dr. Yahagi could have foreseen this fragility and no way to avoid it."

Afridi was Maria Rios' primary physician from January 2008 until her death at Citizens Medical Center, according to the lawsuit.

Yahagi was her cardiovascular surgeon from April 16, 2010, until her death.

She was diagnosed with the aneurysm after arriving at the hospital's emergency room complaining of sharp chest pains on April 16, according to the lawsuit.

Rios is seeking damages for mental anguish, emotional pain, torment, suffering and medical and expenses for his wife's funeral.

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