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Medical mistake may have caused woman to freeze to death


Many Oregon residents may have had nightmares of being buried alive or waking up in the middle of a medical procedure, but we often chalk those nightmares up as that, bad dreams. Yet, sometimes nightmares manifest themselves in reality. When this occurs in the medical context, the results can be devastating, causing death.

One family recently found his out and has filed a lawsuit against the hospital that allegedly killed an 80-year-old wife, mother and grandmother. According to the lawsuit, the victim went to the hospital to be treated for a heart attack, but was subsequently pronounced dead. However, the lawsuit claims the woman was prematurely pronounced dead, placed in a body bag and taken to the morgue.

When funeral home workers came to collect the body, they discovered the bag was half unzipped and the woman was face down. Later it was discovered the victim’s face suffered serious injuries to her face, including a broken nose. The family claims the woman woke up in the freezer and fought to escape her terrifying situation, but died doing so. Though the case was originally thrown out, an appeals court judge has breathed new life into the case, allowing it to move forward.

This may be a rare case, but it illustrates just how far medical mistakes can go. Those who go to the hospital expecting adequate, effective treatment are often left worse off than when they came in. Families who must cope with the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice may have trouble dealing with the emotional and financial damages unfairly thrust upon them.

A wrongful death lawsuit may help a surviving family recover some or all of those losses. A Eugene, Oregon attorney can help a family bring forth the strongest case possible in an effort to recover the compensation it deserves. Hopefully such a lawsuit will bring the family closure and financial stability while at the same time punish errant medical practices, deterring them from occurring in the future.

Source: NBC 4 News, “Grandmother Died Trying to Escape Morgue Freezer: Lawsuit,” Andrew Lopez, Hetty Chang, Jason Kandel and Jonathan Lloyd, April 4, 2014