In fact, a later inquiry revealed that the pop artist had almost 15 years of gallbladder issues, including known family history. Based on these factors, Warhol’s death should have been an anticipated outcome of the surgery, and he and his family should have been informed of these odds.

Apparently, Warhol had been sick for at least a month before his surgery and had attempted to hide it, largely because of his fear of hospitals. This fear extended so far that Warhol even requested a stay-at-home method of treatment. His surgeon refused, as such treatment did not exist.

During his operation at New York Hospital (now New York-Presbyterian), his surgeon found that Warhol’s gallbladder was full of gangrene and the organ fell to pieces as he tried to remove it from the pop star’s body. Medical records also show that Warhol was severely dehydrated and malnourished at the time of his operation due to his difficulty eating for the last month of his sickness – something which affected his surgery adversely.

Despite these surgical shortcomings, the pop star’s surgery was considered a success and he was sent to his hospital room for recovery. It was not even two full hours later that a nurse found him in his room, blue and unresponsive. Though resuscitation was attempted, it proved to be unsuccessful. An autopsy revealed that his death was caused by ventricular fibrillation, which means that Warhol’s heart had beat erratically before stopping completely.

Ultimately, the state Health Department concluded that numerous deficiencies in Warhol’s care led to his death. The surgical procedure was not considered to be one of these deficiencies, but the majority were attributed to nursing negligence such as:

  • The nursing staff giving the pop star too much fluid
  • The nursing staff not conducting a full medical history and physical examination upon Warhol’s hospital admission
  • Warhol’s private nurse filling in conflicting medical charts regarding the pop star’s allergy to penicillin
  • Warhol’s private nurse leaving gaps when recording his vital signs, even though the surgeon requested for this to be done every four hours
  • The director of nursing services failing to properly evaluate the qualifications of Warhol’s private nurse who filled in these conflicting charts

Though no medical malpractice lawsuit was filed, the hospital cooperated fully with investigators and gave them all the results they requested as well as the results of their examination.

Legal Matters

If you or a family member have been a victim of nursing negligence, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. During your medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to prove that nursing negligence occurred by showing how the nurse/s involved strayed from the expected standard of care and that this resulted in your injury.

Additionally, the law and the statute of limitations differs between states, so it is important that you contact an NYC medical malpractice attorney if you live in NYC.


If a nurse has injured or disabled you because of their nursing negligence, you can contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.

You can have a free, confidential consultation by calling 212-344-1000 and speaking to one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.


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New York, NY 10168

Tel: 212-LAWYERS

Tel: 212-697-9280



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Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

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The Bronx, NY 10451

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1002 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

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