Parents of North Carolina Man Sue Franklin County Medical Officers for Son’s Wrongly Declared Death

January 15, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the parents of Larry D. Green, the man who Franklin County medical officers wrongly declared dead in January 2005, have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Franklin County’s medical examiner, Franklin County Emergency Medical Services, the emergency responders who were at Green’s pedestrian accident scene, Louisburg Rescue, and EMS.

Green, now 31, was critically injured in Louisburg in January 2005 when he was hit by a motor vehicle while walking across U.S. 401 north. He was declared dead, placed in a body bag, and sent to a morgue. It wasn’t until after his body had been at the morgue for over two hours that the coroner realized that Green was alive.

The lawsuit, filed by Green’s parents, Larry Alston and Ruby Kelly, alleges that medical officials did not properly check Green’s vital signs and that he would not have sustained permanent injuries if they had done their job correctly. Green’s mother, Ruby Kelly, says that she sustained emotional trauma after seeing the crash scene and believing that her son was dead.

Green was in the hospital for two months. Injuries included a serious head injury and leg injuries. It wasn’t until five months after the accident that he started to talk again. Green now resides in a Wilson nursing home, and he may never fully recover from his injuries.

Last month, J.B. Perdue, the Franklin County medical examiner named in the lawsuit, stated that pronouncing a person dead is not part of his job. He said his responsibilities are to investigate the cause of death.

The lawsuit says that Perdue saw Green’s eye twitching and chest moving at the morgue but did not make sure Green was dead before starting his forensic evaluation.

Green’s family is accusing emergency medical technicians and paramedics of not following policy in their handling of Green. Medics admit that they did not use a stethoscope or electrocardiogram monitor to make sure that Green was dead after failing to detect a pulse or breath.

If you or someone you love was injured because of medical malpractice or negligence, you must contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.

Death blunder draws lawsuit, The News &, December 28, 2007

Family Of North Carolina Man Mistakenly Declared Dead Files Suit, All Headlines, December 28, 2007

After body bag, life goes on, The News &, January 24, 2007

Related Web Resource:

No further state action warranted against Franklin County EMS personnel, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, February 9, 2005


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