Girardi | Keese

California medical malpractice lawsuit to proceed

Some medical malpractice lawsuits are more complicated than others, which can result in many challenges for those involved. An appeals court recently ruled that a medical malpractice lawsuit in California can proceed. A family has filed a lawsuit claiming that a loved one was frozen prematurely in a hospital morgue.

After a lower court ruled that the lawsuit filed against White Memorial Hospital was too late, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal stepped in and overturned the ruling.

The 80-year-old woman was declared dead at Boyle Heights hospital as the result of a heart attack. However, morticians later found the body face down with bruises and cuts on her face as well as a broken nose.

As a result, the woman's children and husband filed a lawsuit claiming that the hospital mishandled her body. When the case was brought to court in 2011, a pathologist noted that the woman was actually frozen alive, noting that she woke up and the injuries were a result of her attempting to escape the freezer. This led to the family withdrawing the first lawsuit and filing one for medical malpractice.

Even though the lawsuit was thrown out by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, due to the fact that it was past the one year statute of limitations, the appeals court said that it could proceed.

This medical malpractice lawsuit has taken many twists and turns over the years, all of which have been painful for the woman's loved ones. For now, it appears that the case will proceed.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Malpractice Suit Over Frozen California Woman to Proceed" No author given, Apr. 04, 2014

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