For families in Pennsylvania, losing a loved one because of the negligence of other parties is surely traumatic and heartbreaking. Apart from mourning the loved one’s death, they also have to cope with the knowledge that the death could have been prevented. A couple in another state recently had to face the death of their son. They claim he was the victim of medical negligence while he was in the care of a hospital.
The parents, as representatives of their son’s legal estate and also individually, filed a lawsuit against a medical doctor and a hospital in May. The claim states that the man was taken to the hospital because of suicidal tendencies. This apparently followed an attempt to take his own life by overdose. He was assigned to a center for behavioral health and was only formally admitted after waiting for several hours.
The family learned, on that same day, that the man was comatose after another suicide attempt, this time by using items that were present in his hospital room. The man was declared dead five days later. The family accuses the doctor and the hospital of negligence in allowing the wrongful death of their son while he was specifically in their care to prevent his death. They seek recovery of damages, including medical expenses and the cost of the funeral and burial.
Pennsylvania families who have lost a loved one due to the medical negligence of doctors and/or staff of a medical institute retain the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit in a court of law. Successful presentation of a documented claim may result in a court awarding a monetary judgment for the recovery of damages sustained. Although no monetary amount can be put on the life of a loved one, a successful result may assist the family in finding closure and perhaps help avoid a similar tragedy in the future.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Baptist Hospital sued after man kills self while on suicide watch“, Annie Cosby, June 4, 2014