Florida Woman Dies Outside Hospital; Now Three Agencies are Asking Why
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ May 04, 2016
When a local police officer received a call about a hospital patient in a Blountstown, Florida who refused to leave the hospital despite being discharged by staff, few involved in the ordeal could have imagined the tragic and fatal outcome that was about to play out in front of the hospital. The woman had been admitted to Calhoun Liberty Hospital complaining of abdominal pain. After running the standard battery of tests that would be performed in such a situation, the hospital was prepared to discharge the woman. The only problem? The woman did not want to leave. That is when the police became involved.
Investigation into a Tragic Death
The hospital summoned the police to help remove the woman from the hospital. Despite the officer’s command to leave, the woman refused to do so. During the confrontation inside the hospital, the woman was reported to have pleaded with the officer and hospital staff to let her stay because she felt sick and could not breathe. When the officer could not get the woman to leave the hospital on her own accord, the officer placed her in handcuffs and forcibly removed her from the room and out of the hospital.
Once outside the hospital, the woman fell to the ground. The officer and medical staff believed the woman was resisting arrest by making herself deadweight. After about 20 minutes wherein the woman did not move, she was wheeled back into the hospital on a stretcher. She died shortly thereafter of a blood clot in her lung. Now three state agencies – the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Florida Department of Health – all want to know the precise series of events that led to the woman’s death.
Is the Hospital Negligent?
The woman’s family’s attorney accused the hospital of negligence, and according to the news story that reported on the woman’s death, it appears that there may be two main arguments as to why the hospital and its staff acted negligently in this case:
- Failing to diagnose the woman’s blood clot can be a form of medical malpractice if the blood clot could have been detected by reasonable medical personnel through testing or by listening to the woman’s complaints; and/or
- Improperly discharging the woman without first ascertaining that she was in sufficiently good health such that she could be discharged without risking her health and safety.
If the woman’s family chooses to sue the hospital and its staff for medical malpractice, they would need to show that an objective, similarly situated and reasonable hospital and its staff would not have taken the action that the hospital and its staff did in this case. This could potentially be difficult to prove.
When you or a loved one has been injured by a New Jersey or Philadelphia hospital, the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. is here for you. We have over four decades of experience helping injured patients and their families recover compensation for the injuries that careless medical professionals inflict on them. Call our office at (215) 567-3500 or complete our online form and discuss your case with our caring and professional legal team.