Doctor gets jail time in clinic death

A judge in Torrance has sentenced a doctor to six months behind bars for a surgery that resulted in a patient’s death. The operation took place in an Inglewood house — which was Dr. Roberto Bonilla’s clinic.

Last month, a jury convicted Bonilla on an involuntary manslaughter charge related to the death of a patient during gall bladder surgery. An autopsy determined that his patient, 30-year-old Osvaldo Hernandez, died from an overdose of lidocaine, a local anesthetic.

While various defense witnesses praised Bonilla’s skill and willingness to treat people in their neighborhood, the family of his deceased patient expressed anguish. So did 62-year-old Bonilla, who told Hernandez’ relatives that he’d tried his best, but failed, to save the patient’s life.

The judge in the case suspended the doctor’s medical license and ordered him to six months in LA County Jail. Bonilla must also serve 1,000 hours of community service in a medical clinic, but he will not be allowed to offer patient care.

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