Stephen M. O'Brien III, PLLC - Personal Injury Attorneys
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Family sues for hospital negligence leading to woman’s death

When you learn that a loved one has passed away, you usually start going through the grieving process as you begin to go through life without that person by your side. Now, imagine that you learned a loved one was deceased only to learn later that the person was wrongfully pronounced dead and then died in the morgue freezer. You would be very upset. For one family, that is exactly what happened to their loved one. This family’s story of hospital negligence might interest our readers in Kentucky.

The incident happened White Memorial Medical Center. The 80-year-old woman’s family claims that she was prematurely declared dead, placed in a body bag and taken to the morgue. The family’s attorney says that an expert told the judge that woman was alive in the freezer when she woke up because of the cold. She allegedly tried to fight her way out of the body bag and freezer, but ultimately froze to death. She suffered facial injuries and a broken nose as a result of her struggle.

When the woman was found in the morgue, the body bag was about half way open. She was found face down, which was indicative of her trying to fight her way out. Experts testified that the injuries the woman sustained couldn’t have happened after her death. They asserted that she died of hypothermia and asphyxiation.

Initially, the woman’s family had sued the hospital for mishandling the woman’s deceased body. After the expert testimony, they filed a new lawsuit for wrongful death and medical negligence. That lawsuit was dismissed, but the family appealed. The judge who handled the appeal reversed the case and sent it back for a jury trial.

Anyone who has lost a loved one in a tragic case of medical negligence might have the right to seek compensation for that loss. Seeking the assistance of a legal professional who is familiar with Kentucky medical malpractice laws can help you get answers to any questions you may have.

Source: Fox 19, “Family claims grandmother was frozen alive in hospital morgue” No author given, Apr. 03, 2014

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC is located in Lexington, KY and serves clients in and around Lexington, Keene, Nicholasville, Versailles, Midway, Georgetown, Wilmore, Paris, Bourbon County, Fayette County, Jessamine County, Scott County and Woodford County.

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