Medical malpractice lawsuit: Former co-lead singer of The Eagles died from poor medical diagnosis and treatment


There is usually a better outcome when medical complications are addressed quickly, rather than doctors taking a "wait and see" approach

January 29, 2018

Singer and guitarist Glenn Frey was a co-founder and former co-lead singer of The Eagles. According to a recent wrongful death lawsuit, he was a victim of medical malpractice. He died in January 2016, at the age of 67, from complications from acute ulcerative colitis, pneumonia, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Frey’s widow sued a New York hospital and gastroenterologist, alleging a failure to properly treat his ulcerative colitis, diagnose and treat an infection, and advise of the risks and side effects from treatment.

According to an internal medicine specialist, some medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis can compromise or reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off infections, like pneumonia. One of the most common treatments is chemotherapy, and rheumatoid arthritis patients may receive chemotherapy treatments for years, which heighten their risk for developing infections because of an impaired immune system.

Going in the wrong direction

In my experience as a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled cases for a number of patients whose care was mishandled as their health conditions deteriorated. This happens at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and even rehabilitation hospitals.

An easy way of looking at this problem is what to do when things seem like they are going in the wrong direction. With that said, some illnesses or diseases are chronic or require a long treatment. Yet, there are other more short-term, or acute, ailments that should show progress more quickly with proper treatment.

I recommend that patients and family members have a conversation with their physicians early-on in the treatment process to gain an understanding of the expected time line of treatment, as well as any predictions on what improvements should be seen and when.

If things appear to be off track, then it is time to revisit the topic with the physicians. Have an open discussion about whether it would be wise to bring in a specialist to consult on the case. Communicate this in a way that does not indicate a lack of confidence in the doctor, but rather a desire to have a collaborative approach that achieves the best patient outcome.

While each medical condition and patient is different, most medical experts agree that in many cases the sooner complications are medically or surgically managed, the better the odds for recovery.

We are here to help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of medical malpractice, misdiagnosis, or mistreatment, call the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case.


Robert Painter is an attorney with Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who focuses his law practice on representing patients and family members and medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits against hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers. In 2017, H Texas magazine recognized him as one of Houston’s top lawyers.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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