The father of an Ohio University student who died from an aggressive case of meningitis is seeking financial compensation from O’Bleness Memorial Hospital for wrongful death. The man is reportedly looking to recover more than $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages in connection with the 2010 incident, which he blames on organizational negligence.
Defendants in the case include the hospital itself, along with a registered nurse and treating physician. The Life Ambulance Service and two of its employees have also been named in the legal documents connected with the case.
Court records show that the young woman initially went to the school health clinic, where she was advised to take an over-the-counter medicine and get plenty of rest. Her symptoms rapidly accelerated, however, and she was taken to the O’Bleness emergency room for treatment. The physician there performed a spinal tap to confirm the meningitis diagnosis, a procedure that allegedly led to further nervous system damage, according to the complaint.
The young woman was then taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital for more intensive care. She was transported in a ground ambulance because of inclement weather conditions, according to hospital staff. The ambulance in which she was transported did not have the equipment required to intubate patients, a situation that became problematic when the woman began to become hypoxic, or unable to breathe properly. The medics in the ambulance were unable to revive the woman, and she died three days after arriving at the second hospital.
The woman’s father has apparently already entered into a settlement agreement with the Life Ambulance service and its employees. The amount of that settlement has not yet been disclosed. He is seeking upwards of $3 million in damages, not including punitive awards, fees and interest, according to a pretrial statement.
Court documents show that the man is suing for wrongful death. He could also seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consort and emotional distress, among other claims.
Source: Athens Ohio Today, “OU wrongful death case headed to trial,” Steve Robb, March 13, 2013