Appeals Court Rules That Mother’s North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Son That Fell Into Ravine After Release From Hospital Can Proceed

April 10, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Court of Appeals says that Bernice Allen’s wrongful death lawsuit against Granville Medical Center can proceed. Allen’s son William, who had epilepsy, died after he was released from the hospital.

Allen says that she told the hospital to make sure that they didn’t release him after he underwent his epilepsy treatment until she arrived to pick him up. William, who was prone to seizures, could not go home alone.

Despite her request/warning, the hospital released her son. Several months later, William’s remains were discovered in a ravine.

Allen’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit was dismissed by the trial court because it failed to assert that an expert had reviewed the alleged incident of medical malpractice. Allen appealed. She said that her civil complaint is not seeking damages for medical malpractice. Rather, she is wanting to recover compensation for negligence, including the hospital’s alleged failure to properly supervise William while allowing him to leave the hospital without being accompanied by a responsible adult.

The appeals court judge agreed with Allen and reversed the lower court’s ruling.

Hospital Negligence
Hospitals can be held liable for medical malpractice and/or negligence. This means that they also can be held liable for the careless actions of their employees that caused someone’s North Carolina personal injuries or wrongful death.

Other reasons why you might choose to file a North Carolina injury complaint (that may not directly involve medical malpractice allegations) against a hospital:

• Slip and fall
• Inadequate security
• Sexual assault
• Premises liability
• Products liability
• Inadequate patient supervision

You have three years from the incident to file a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit claiming that the liable party or parties were negligent.

Mom Can Sue Hospital Over Son’s Release, CourthouseNews, April 8, 2010

Medical Malpractice: When Can Patients Sue a Hospital for Negligence?, Nolo

Related Web Resource:
Granville Medical Center

 
 

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