Canyon, TX — 47-year-old Cpl. Monty Dale Platt died following receiving medicine to treat a feral cat bite Friday, August 4, 2017.

Cpl. Platt was reportedly responding to a call at the West Texas A&M campus in Canyon, TX when he was bitten by a feral cat. Following the incident, Cpl. Platt began to feel ill. Cpl. Platt was admitted to an urgent care for a reaction to an anti-infection medication prescribed to treat the bite. According to media reports, the victim suffered from kidney failure causing his blood temperature to drop.

Cpl. Platt passed away Friday evening.

The investigation into the incident is currently underway.

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Commentary

This is an unquestionably tragic incident. For an officer to face on the job danger in every aspect of their career to die in such a manner is hard to reconcile. It’s unfortunate that the very thing meant to prevent this man’s death from something as seemingly benign as a cat bite claimed his life. But how does the law view the circumstances surrounding this tragedy? Allow me to clarify.

Was this a known side effect of this particular anti-infection medication? And if so, was the person administering the medication aware of the potential side effect? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” we can move on to the next question. Was the officer receiving the medication then made aware the medication might cause death? If the risk of death was explained to the officer and he continued to take the medication, that would be considered informed consent.

However, let’s say the doctor was aware of the potential risk, yet failed to inform the patient about possible complications. This could amount to a case of medical malpractice.

A third possible scenario might be the manufacturer produced the medicine, yet those prescribing it were left in the dark as to the risk of potential death. In this case, there would be no negligence on the part of the doctor as they would be just as flat footed as the victim.

Which of these scenarios best represents the truth in this matter? Well, armed only with information provided by news outlets, it’s impossible to say. I, for one, and am curious to know the answers to these important questions and more. With hope, a more thorough investigation will provide some closure for all those involved.

–Grossman Law Offices

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