On March 15, it was reported that the mother of a University of Oregon student filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a local hospital after her daughter passed away. According to the lawsuit, the mother claimed that PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center failed to properly treat the student for Meningococcal disease, resulting in her death.
The freshman was treated by hospital staff in February. The suit stated that she was sent back to her dorm but they failed to test her or treat her for Meningococcal disease. The suit noted that there had been three recent cases of the disease prior to the 18-year-old's trip to the hospital. After returning to her dorm, she was reportedly found unconscious before being taken back to the hospital. She then died.
In total, seven students contracted the disease; however, the UO freshman was the only casualty. Her mother was seeking economic damages in the amount of $2.5 million.
When patients are taken to a hospital with an unknown illness, they expect their doctors and nurses to do everything they can to diagnose and treat the illness. If they fail to diagnose the patient and the patient is harmed, this could constitute hospital negligence. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation could review the patient's charts and obtain the opinions of medical experts in order to determine whether or not the facility failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care. If a decision is made to go forward with the case, the attorney could first attempt to seek a settlement with the hospital's insurance carrier. In the event that the offer is insufficient, then a lawsuit could be filed.
Source: KLCC, "Lawsuit Filed Against Hospital For Death of UO Student", Tiffany Eckert, March 15, 2016