St. Petersburg- A Gainesville hospital has reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of Steve Georgiadis after determining the University of Florida baseball player’s death last year may have been avoided.Terms of the resolution were not disclosed, but given the details of the case, a leading personal-injury lawyer in Tampa Bay said the settlement was likely to excess $350,000.Georgiadis, a Seminole High graduate, lapsed into a coma following a seemingly routine shoulder operation at Shands Hospital in March 1990 and died two days later. He was 19.
“I wanted the truth to come out and now it has. Our investigation clearly established that my son’s death was due to failure of the hospital and the nursing staff to monitor my son’s condition,” said Angela Georgiadis, Steve’s mother.
“No monetary settlement of any kind will ever bring him back or replace the loss and the love my family had for him. I’ll never see him walk through the front door again.”
Georgiadis entered Shands on March 15 for an operation to tighten ligaments in his pitching shoulder. The surgery was deemed a success. The problems began in the hours after the operation.
Following the injection of a painkiller, Georgiadis went to sleep. An investigative report, done by the family’s attorney, Anthony Battaglia, said Angela Georgiadis contacted hospital personal at least three times because she was concerned her son was sleeping too deeply.
After four hours, a nurse tried to wake him and found no pulse, Mrs. Georgiadis said in a Times interview last year. Georgiadis was never interviewed and died two days later. A pathologist, consulted by Battaglia, said earlier this year Georgiadis was oversedated and, thus, was unable to keep his airway clear.
A joint statement released by Battaglia and Shands on Monday said the cause of Georgiadis’s death may never be known. However, the statement reads, a hospital investigation has shown “that had Steven Georgiadis’s condition been more closely monitored by Shands Hospital, his death may have been avoided.”
A Shands spokesperson said Monday both parties agreed to confidentiality clause concerning the details of the settlement. Battaglia declined comment.
The family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit earlier this year. Had this case gone to trial, the cap for damages would have been $350,00, according to Tampa attorney C. Steven Yerrid.
“Knowing Tony Battaglia, knowing his reputation and skills, my judgment tells me that something was worked out and the cap was escaped,” Yerrid said. “The pain and suffering that parents would go through is very subjective, but I’m certain Tony Battaglia got the best recovery possible for his clients.”
Georgiadis was a 4A All-Star pitcher at Seminole High in 1988 and won two games as a freshman at Florida before his shoulder problems began. He was beginning his sophomore year at Florida when he entered the hospital.
The 15 months since their son’s death has not helped escape the pain Angela and Stratos Georgiadis. Angels Georgiadis said she was hospitalized twice in the last year with health problems stemming from her grief and stress.
“We’re not a happy household right now. I’ve been told that, in time, I’ll look back and have only fond memories of the times we had with Steve. But I think I’m at that point.” she said. I pray that it does.