The husband of a Brooklyn woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit after his wife died in the Coney Island Hospital E.R. He and his family are alleging that the hospital and staff were negligent and failed to treat his wife’s lethal infection.
A Failure To Diagnose
When the patient, a 47-year-old woman arrived in the E.R. last January, she appeared to be confused, was incoherent, screaming, and holding her head. Instead of having a doctor perform an exam, a nurse made the decision to treat her as an “emotionally disturbed” patient, believing that she was high on synthetic marijuana. She informed the patient’s husband that the symptoms were “exactly the same” as previous patients she had seen on the drug, even though he insisted in the 23 years they had lived together that she had never used an illegal drug.
The nurse proceeded to have her legs and arms restrained, administered an antipsychotic drug, and only did simple blood and urine tests.
Over the next ten hours, despite showing no signs of improvement, no other tests or treatments were ordered. The woman suffered five different heart attacks, appeared to have difficulty breathing, and then, to her husband’s horror, died.
The week prior to her death, the woman had been treated for flu-like symptoms and an ear infection. Although the coroner’s report is not yet complete, it is believed that she died from meningitis that had reached her brain.
After filing the lawsuit, her grieving husband stated “They basically tied her up and killed her. She didn’t even see a doctor.”
The Health Department is investigating the death and has already issued six citations to the hospital for the violation of the federal code of patient’s rights, specifically addressing the manner in which restraints were used, how her case progressed when she was admitted to the ER, and the policies in place in the ER for all patients.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Basically, a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal injury complaint that would have been filed by the deceased if they had survived, however, it is instead filed by the loved ones left behind.
There are several reasons a loved one may choose to pursue legal action. First, it can allow them to feel that justice was done and the party whose negligence resulted in a fatality is held responsible. Second, while money can never replace what is lost, it can help to ensure that they are kept financially safe. Through a successful verdict or settlement, the plaintiffs may gain compensation for:
- Physical and emotional trauma experienced by the deceased before they passed.
- Medical bills for the treatment given to the deceased for the injury or illness which resulted in their death.
- Wages lost by the deceased.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- The loss of love and companionship – also known as a loss of consortium.
- Loss of inheritance.
In some cases, a jury or judge may award punitive damages.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are an additional monetary sum awarded to a plaintiff with the intention of making an example of or punishing the defendant. The hope is that by awarding an additional sum, the defendant, or others in a similar position, will be discouraged from behaving an a way that does not benefit society in the future.
I Think I Have A Case
If you believe that your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, contact an attorney immediately. Our team offers a free consultation, during which we will go over every detail and determine if you have a claim. This may include a review of any witness statements, medical records, or any other evidence that you have preserved.
Remember, that wrongful death cases are NOT limited to situations where a medical professional failed to care for a patient properly. Our clients have filed after their loved ones were lost in car accidents, work accidents, construction accidents, and more. What is most important is that you contact us as soon as possible, as each case has a statute of limitations, and once a certain amount of time has passed, a claim can no longer be filed.