ER Staff Ignores Dying Patient & Pays Family $3 Million
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A Los Angeles County hospital will pay the family of a woman who died $3 million after triage nursing staff ignored her as she writhed on the waiting room floor. The facts of the case are simply shocking.
California Medical Malpractice
In this highly publicized California medical malpractice case, 45-year old Edith Rodriguez was experiencing severe abdominal pain and went to the emergency room at Martin Luther King Jr. Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles County. She had been to the same ER several times before in the past few days, but was not getting better. On her final visit, triage nurses ignored her as she writhed on the ER floor for nearly 45 minutes. News agencies report that staff simply walked around her - and even a janitor mopped the floor around her without offering assistance.
Her boyfriend, who accompanied her to the ER, along with others in the waiting area, did everything they could to get nurses to act including pleading with them and calling 911. However, because Rodriguez was already in the hospital, there wasn't much outside medical help could do.
Unfortunately, or fortunately in this case, Rodriguez had an outstanding warrant, so police decided to arrest her so that she could get treatment from the medical staff at the county jail instead. However, she died shortly afterwards.
Lawsuit pays family $3 million
Her family sued the hospital, along with other staff, for medical malpractice and the parties eventually settled the case for $3 million. However, many believe that the case should have been worth more - especially because the hospital had a history of medical malpractice. In fact, the hospital paid over $20 million in med mal claims over a four year period from 1999 to 2003.
Medical malpractice claims generally require experienced counsel
Medical malpractice claims generally require the use of experienced counsel. In fact, general practice attorneys will usually refer these cases to lawyers whose practice focuses in this area of the law due to the complexity of medical malpractice laws and the need for qualified experts, among other things. If you've been injured due to medical malpractice or negligence, it's important to know that most attorneys offer free consultations and will generally take cases on a contingency fee basis - which means that you don't pay anything unless they recover for you.