Confidential Settlement of Wrongful Death Suit Against Hospital

shutterstock_168180719MIAMI, FL — Mrs. S was first injured on August 11, 2008 by a hospital when she slipped and fell on water on the floor breaking her knee cap and breaking her shoulder while she was walking through a hospital for an outpatient medical appointment. She was admitted to the hospital and died due to complications from her fall.

Mrs. S’s family contacted Sam Coffey to determine what happened to their mother. Sam Coffey investigated the circumstances of Mrs. S’s death. Medical evidence revealed that Mrs. S was overdosed by the hospital staff with narcotic pain medicine that lead to cardiac arrest and respiratory failure. In other words, Mrs. S’s heart and lungs stopped because she was overdosed with pain medicine that was being prescribed to address her broken bones. She was eventually revived but it was too late for Mrs. S because now she had a severe, permanent brain damage. A

CT Scan of the brain was performed that showed, “severe atrophic changes . . . consistent with the patient’s history of anoxic brain injury.” Mrs. S slipped into a coma and was in a persistent vegetative state for the rest of her days.

Mrs. S’s seven children who live in Honduras were told by the hospital staff that they needed to travel to the United States because of their mother suffered a stroke and was critically ill. The family was granted a single Visa from the United States, Department of State for one child, Karla, to be allowed to travel to see her mother.

Karla came to the United States and got a chance to see her mother in a hospital bed and was asked to authorize the removal of life support. She consented because the doctors at

the hospital told her that her mother’s brain damage was so severe and permanent that she would be in a coma for the rest of her life. Karla held a vigil for hours on end at her mother’s bedside holding her hand and stroking her head wishing she could just speak to her mother.

Fatefully, Mrs. S had travel plans to see her family in September 2008 and could not travel because the hospital killed her. Mrs. S is survived by her children who made a claim for loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance and for their pain and suffering due to their mother ’s wrongful death.

This matter was set for jury trial to start on April 5, 2010. The parties reached a settlement during the waning hours before the parties were set to select a jury. The defense demanded that the terms of the settlement and the identity of the hospital remain confidential.

Initially, the family was told by the doctors at the hospital that Mrs. S suffered a stroke but they were not told of the role that pain medication played in the death of their mother. Similarly, the Medical Examiner’s office was told by the hospital that an autopsy was unnecessary because the death was due to natural causes.

But for the involvement of Sam Coffey. Mrs. S’s family would not know the truth about their mother’s death. Mrs. S’s estate and her family were represented by Sam Coffey.  But for the involvement of Sam Coffey, P.A. Mrs. S’s family would not know the truth about their mother’s death. 

Sam Coffey commented on the settlement. “Hospital risk management made this facility dangerous for people walking down its hallways as well as those receiving care. Mrs. S’s was taken from this world far too soon.

The hospital insisted upon confidentiality because they knew that they are guilty. Hopefully, it will take a long hard look at its practices and correct its ways before someone else is hurt or killed.”

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