One of the safest places to be in western Pennsylvania is usually within the walls of a hospital or other medical facility. Still, disaster can strike even in environments associated with healing and recovery. Earlier this month in Chambersburg, a wrongful death trial began that is likely to gain the attention of the local medical community.
The family of a woman who perished in Chambersburg Hospital in 2009 has made a
wrongful death claim
regarding their lost loved one. The ordeal began in March of that year, when the woman, who was then 64 years old, experienced exacerbation of her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She had to be hospitalized for several days, then fell in her home the following month. Court documents reveal that a physician observed an ulceration on one of her feet and she was given repeated doses of an antibiotic to ward off infection.
At the time of her April 2009 hospitalization, the woman complained of swelling in her legs, as well as soreness and fatigue. By May 9, the woman had died. According to the court documents in the case, the woman's cause of death was a combination of metabolic acidosis, diarrhea, severe sepsis and toxigenic clostridium difficile enteritis. The wrongful death claim concerns the care of nurses in the hospital, who, per the lawsuit, exhibited negligence by not properly informing doctors of the woman's diarrhea.
Those who care for older loved ones, as well as parents of small children, know that everyday ailments like diarrhea can spiral into serious health problems if not treated quickly. The deceased woman's husband, as well as her estate, is arguing that the woman's unexpected death brought about pain and suffering, as well as other damages, such as medical expenses.
In any suspected medical malpractice situation, grief and emotional turmoil can make accountability tougher to pursue. Pursuing a wrongful death claim, though, can move a family closer to the compensation to which they are entitled while letting a third party, the attorney or law firm, handle the many legal details.
Source: The Herald-Mail, "
Wrongful death trial starts Monday in Pennsylvania
," Jennifer Fitch, Sept. 14, 2014