Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a loved one’s passing, death usually brings a sense of closure to those left behind. However, one woman’s family is still searching for that sense of closure as they head to court to battle the hospital allegedly responsible for their loved one’s death.
An appeals court ruled in the favor of the family who can now go ahead with a medical malpractice lawsuit. The family claims that the woman was declared dead prematurely in a hospital after suffering a heart attack. As a result, she was frozen to death in the hospital morgue.
The 80-year-old woman was declared dead in July 2010. Her body was placed in a hospital freezer shortly after. However, morticians receiving the body days after her death discovered the body, face down. The woman’s nose was also broken, and severe cuts and bruises to her face were evident. Shocked by the discovery, her husband and children filed a lawsuit, claiming their loved one’s body was mishandled.
More surprise came to the family during the December 2011 case when a pathologist concluded that the injuries on the woman’s face were caused when she woke up while being in the freezer, and struggled to escape. They withdrew the lawsuit and subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The lawsuit, originally thrown out by a trial for being filed past the statute of limitations, was returned to the lower court in light of the information provided by the pathologist. An appellate court found that, before the testimony of the pathologist, the family had no reason to believe their loved one was still alive.
Closure can be an important aspect of a medical malpractice case. If you are the victim of a medical malpractice or wrongful death case, a Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer could help you understand your rights.
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader, “Court says suit over frozen woman can proceed,” April 2, 2014