San Diego

Chula Vista Cosmetic Surgeon Sued Over Patient's Death

Megan Espinoza died while undergoing breast augmentation surgery in January and her family has filed a lawsuit

It was supposed to be a routine breast augmentation surgery, but it went horribly wrong and left a 35-year-old wife dead and her two young children motherless.

Now, the family of Megan Espinoza is suing a cosmetic surgeon and a nurse for administering anaesthesia without the presence of a licensed anesthesiologist.

“It was almost like a fairy tale because she was the only one,” Moises Espinoza said of his late wife, Megan. “She was a mother, a wonderful wife, and a great teacher. She was someone who wanted to make the world a better place and she did.”

On September 12, 2018 Megan Espinoza signed a contract to undergo breast enhancement surgery at Divino Plastic Surgery in Bonita. According to an October 21 lawsuit obtained by NBC 7, a licensed anesthesiologist was to administer the anaesthesia.

Moises and Megan Espinoza arrived at Divino Plastic Surgery the morning of December 19, 2018. At 12:30 p.m., she was taken into surgery by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacon and a nurse practitioner.

Moises Espinoza said he was told to leave and someone from Divino Plastic Surgery would call him in two or three hours when the surgery was over.

“Four hours pass and I’m like, ‘That’s weird that they haven’t called,' so I called the clinic,” said Espinoza. “They told me before the surgery that I would just drive right up and pick her up and then I find out she wasn’t out, I just wish they would have told me the truth.”

Instead, according to Espinoza, he got a phone call six hours later from a doctor at the hospital telling him that his wife was "unresponsive.”

“I just kept thinking that it wasn’t happening, that she was supposed to be home,” said Espinoza. “Even now I think the same thing, that it is not really happening.”

Megan Espinoza was given a dose of multiple medications including Fentanyl, Demerol, Midazolam, and Ketamine, and the doctor and his nurse failed to monitor her airway, sending her into cardiopulmonary arrest, according to the lawsuit.

Attorneys for Espinoza and his two children claim doctors knew Megan Espinoza was in need of medical attention but instead waited nearly three hours until they called 911. Espinoza was kept on life support until Jan. 28 when she died.

“As a physician and a malpractice attorney, doctors and nurses know better and they need to be held accountable,” said San Francisco-based attorney Christian Jagusch who serves as co-counsel with San Diego-based attorney Allison Worden from Gomez Trial Attorneys.

“The care, or lack of, is shocking. It shocks the consciousness when you think that none of this should have ever happened in the first place. And, not only should it not have happened, the actions following it brings this to a much higher level," added Jagusch.

Dr. Chacon and his attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

As for Espinoza, he said the loss of his wife stays with him.

“I’m just trying to rebuild myself, and my life,” Espinoza told NBC 7. “I’m making sure that I provide for my kids and be strong for them. I want them to know that their mother loved them.”

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