Deborah Washington of Fayetteville, North Carolina is suing AlliedBarton Security Services, a company which provides security guards for Cumberland County Hospital, for placing her son A’Darrin Washington, 30, into a taxi cab where he was found dead when he arrived home, reports Courthouse News.
A’Darrin, who died on Nov. 22, 2011, suffered with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had reportedly been a patient at Cumberland County Hospital for 10 years.
On Nov. 14, 2011, one week before his death, A’Darrin was admitted to the hospital and misdiagnosed as suffering from bacterial pneumonia. Subsequent tests revealed that he had fungal pneumonia and had been receiving the wrong medication.
Hospital staff noted that he was “uncooperative,” and “refused to talk or move,” and instead of determining why A’Darrin was unresponsive, a nurse called a security guard to remove him from his hospital bed to the lobby, and from there he was removed from his wheelchair and placed in the taxi cab.
Read more from Washington’s lawsuit via Courtroom News:
“(A) nurse called for security to escort Mr. Washington from his hospital bed to the lobby for discharge because Mr. Washington was allegedly ‘uncooperative’ and ‘refusing to talk or move,’” the complaint states.
“Upon information and belief, prior to his discharge, Mr. Washington was extremely weak and ill and in pain and had sought not to be discharged before he became unresponsive.
“When Mr. Washington became unresponsive he was unable to talk or move.
“Mr. Washington was unresponsive due to the fact that he was dying.”
Two security officers took him to the lobby, lifted him from his wheelchair into the taxi and secured him with a seat-belt while he was unresponsive, according to the complaint.
At least two members of the hospital staff “expressed concerns” about Washington, and the taxi driver was concerned that he was already dead, the mom claims.
Nonetheless, the security workers loaded him into the taxi, and even crossed his legs for him, the mother says. Her son was unconscious during the 45-minute trip home, where his mom and family received him “unresponsive and cold to the touch,” according to the lawsuit.
His mom claims she suffered severe distress when her son’s body was left in the taxi in the front yard for four hours, while police investigated.
She seeks compensatory and punitive damages for negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Washington claims that A’Darrin was then left in the taxi cab for an additional 4 hours in front of her home while the police investigated.
Neither Cumberland County Hospital nor AlliedBarton Security Services have released a statement.