The loss of a loved one is always difficult, but it can be even more difficult if the death occurred because of someone else's negligence.
An Ohio family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital, following the death of a 75-year-old woman earlier this year.
The woman reported to a Mount Carmel Grove City hospital for breathing difficulties and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. She was given medication and was sent home. She returned to the hospital a few days later with flu-like symptoms and was told that she had contracted Legionnaires' disease.
The woman apparently contracted Legionnaires' Disease from an outbreak at the hospital and died a couple of weeks later. The lawsuit claims that her death was directly and proximately caused by the disease. The outbreak was allegedly traced back to the hospital's hot water system, as Legionnaires' is often contracted by inhaling bacteria via water droplets.
The woman was reportedly one of 16 people who contracted Legionnaires' during the outbreak but was the only fatality. Two other people who contracted the disease have also filed lawsuits against the hospital.
In order for a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital to be successful, the family of a victim must establish that the hospital was negligent and that this negligence caused the victim's death. If the hospital employees were negligent, the hospital may be held vicariously liable for their negligence under the theory of respondeat superior. If the family's suit is successful, they can recover damages to cover funeral costs, medical expenses, and loss of support.