Family of Patient Possibly Frozen Alive May Proceed with Malpractice Suit, Court Rules

April 9, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The family of a patient who may have been mistakenly declared dead at a Los Angeles hospital and placed in the hospital's freezer may proceed with a lawsuit against the facility despite being past the one-year statute of limitations, states an April 2, 2014, Los Angeles Times article. According to the article, the patient was pronounced dead at the hospital after suffering a heart attack, but when morticians later received her body from the facility, they found the body face-down and covered with facial injuries that they could not conceal with makeup. Initially believing that the body had been mishandled, the patient's family sued the hospital, but an examination by a pathologist during the litigation revealed that her injuries were likely caused while she was still alive.

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