In a Florida medical malpractice case filed on April 21, 2016, the father of a 31-year-old woman who died as a result of a heart attack that she suffered while in the emergency room of the defendant hospital alleges that the hospital put its profits above the health of his daughter by failing to transport her to another hospital when the defendant hospital did not have an open ICU bed for her. Instead, the young woman was improperly kept in the emergency room.
The woman had gone to the defendant hospital’s emergency room due to severe stomach pains and shortness of breath. She died four weeks later.
According to the Florida medical malpractice lawsuit, the woman suffered diabetic ketoacidosis, severe metabolic acidosis, and pancreatitis, despite not being diabetic. The woman was administered Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker used to relax the heart muscles and blood vessels, in the emergency room even though she had low blood pressure. Shortly afterwards, she went into cardiac arrest and fell into a coma before she was finally transferred to the defendant hospital’s ICU. By the time of her death on March 18, 2012, she had racked up medical expenses in the amount of $368,496.
The father’s Florida medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit is somewhat unique in that it alleges that the defendant hospital had a policy of placing its economic interests above the wellbeing of its patients – in this case, by keeping the plaintiff’s daughter in the emergency room for ten hours, and later admitting her as an inpatent, instead of transferring her to another hospital where she could have received the timely and appropriate medical care that she needed.
In discussing his client’s Florida medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the hospital, one of the father’s attorney stated, “She had great health insurance and HMA had a policy of packing their hospital. They did not want to lose the money they could get from her insurance company. As a consequence, she died. She died because she did not get the kind of care she should have gotten. They were not considering the safety of patients, they were considering their bottom line.”
The woman’s father stated, “what happened to my daughter should never have happened … I don’t want to ever see this happen to anyone else, it should not have happened to [my daughter] … changes need to be made with the law.”
The Florida medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit contains thirteen counts: four counts alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, two counts alleging violation of the civil Racketeer Influenced Corruption and Organizations Act (“RICO”), one count alleging fraud, four counts alleging medical negligence, and two counts alleging violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.
If the medical treatment you or a loved one received in a hospital in the United States fell below the required standard of care, you may have the basis for a medical malpractice claim to compensate you for the harms that you suffered.
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