Family Of Woman Left To Die On NY Hospital Floor Settles Wrongful Death Suit For $2M

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The family of a woman who was left to die in the psychiatric emergency room of a Brooklyn New York hospital has settled its lawsuit with the facility for $2 million. The shocking security camera video shows how hospital staff did nothing to help her – and she died because of their negligence.

New York wrongful death

The circumstances surrounding this tragic New York wrongful death lawsuit made national headlines. In fact, many are saying that it is one of the most shocking cases of medical negligence reported in several years – and the video showing what happened seems to confirm that.

Esmin Green, a 49 year old psychiatric patient, had waited in a psychiatric emergency room at the city run Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn New York for 24 hours straight on June 19, 2008. She collapsed onto the waiting room floor and was writhing. Medical staff, a hospital security guard and other people in the waiting room saw her lying there – and did nothing for over an hour. Once they attended to her, it was too late; she was already dead from a blood clot. Her family, along with the New York Civil Liberties Union, sued the city for Green’s wrongful death. The family recently settled the matter for $2 million.

Shocking video footage

The Associated Press obtained video footage from the hospital’s surveillance camera. Although this has been shown repeatedly on the news, it is still difficult to watch. To view the video, please click here.

Six hospital employees lost their jobs due to their negligent behavior and the hospital has said that it will shorten the average waiting time in the psychiatric emergency room from a mind-boggling 27 hour average to “only” eight hours. If you think you may have misread the last sentence, you haven’t – which begs the question – what is a reasonable standard of care?

Medical malpractice

The standard of care in medical malpractice cases generally compares the actions of similar medical practices and procedures. So, if a heart surgeon commits medical malpractice, his or her actions will be compared to what another heart surgeon would have done in the same situation. Had this case gone to trial instead of settling out of court, the hospital’s actions would have likely been compared to the standard of care of other emergency rooms – which hopefully would have done a better job.

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