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Wrongful death suit against hospital proceeds in freezing death

A horrific accident in California has led one family to file a wrongful death suit against a Los Angeles-area hospital after an elderly woman was reportedly frozen alive. The lawsuit alleges that the woman was allegedly placed in a morgue freezer while she was still living. Hospital officials are facing allegations of mutilation, medical negligence and wrongful death in connection with the gruesome incident. Attorneys associated with the case helped turn the case from a simple incident of physical mishandling into a true wrongful death case. These lawyers and their expert staff analyzed the details of the case to determine that a sinister act may have occurred.

Relatives claim that they identified disfiguring marks on the woman's face after her body was returned from the hospital. Physicians at White Memorial Hospital near Los Angeles reportedly believed that the woman had died because of a heart attack. The family members initially believed that hospital workers had mutilated the 80-year-old victim's face. Shocking new information indicates, however, that the woman may have damaged her face while attempting to escape from the morgue freezer.

Physicians at the hospital are accused of mistakenly identifying the woman as dead. Hospital staff then placed the woman in the morgue freezer. The woman reportedly flipped over inside the freezer compartment after being awoken by the extreme cold. She then apparently froze to death.

The case had been dismissed because of statutes of limitation; the incident reportedly occurred in July 2010. Judges at an appeals court say that the case was inappropriately dismissed, and the family was unfairly accused of adopting a new theory simply to extend the case's timeline. Judges determined that the suspected wrongdoing for causing the woman's death is substantially different from simply causing damage to the woman's remains after she passed.

No family should have to endure the pain and suffering associated with such a fatal accident. Physicians and hospital staff are charged with keeping patients safe, not freezing them alive. The wrongful death case is now expected to proceed, thanks to the most recent ruling by the appeals court.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Alarming 'Frozen Alive' Allegations Revived" William Dotinga, Apr. 04, 2014

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