Estate of Carrie Lynn McCormick
On March 7th, Carrie Lynn McCormick (hereinafter the Plaintiff), a 55-year old woman was seen at 4:00 pm for a scheduled, non-emergency, appointment for an annual physical, at the Lear Ng Care Center, a free clinic located within the private Greene University. Greene University boasts a large campus including a medical school and teaching hospital. McCormick is a tenured professor who teaches health care in the 21st century to undergraduates and medical students.
The only federal funds received by the hospital are related to research projects. Greene University provides an emergency department for the campus community only.
Plaintiff, during the twenty-minute exam, complained of constant heartburn that was especially acute today. She indicated she had worked out on the treadmill in the morning and then had a chili dog for lunch. Carrie Lynn is mildly overweight and has no family history of heart disease.
An EKG is not performed for standard physicals at Greene. It was deemed unnecessary in a hospital-wide evaluation of protocols two years ago. The report noted that this would reduce physical times by 10 minutes and, therefore, allow each physician to perform eight more physicals each day.
She was examined by the treating physician and told to try Prilosec for two weeks and then to call if the symptoms had not improved. Otherwise, she was pronounced healthy and told she could pass for a 45-year-old.
Plaintiff had taken public transportation to reach the campus entrance and then university shuttle buses to eventually reach the Lear Ng Care Center, and began to do the reverse upon the conclusion of her appointment. At about 5:00 pm she walked out of the Lear Ng Care Center and waited for a shuttle bus. An announcement was made alerting those waiting that the shuttle that typically serviced the LearNG Care Center had experienced some mechanical difficulties. It would be at least one hour before the next shuttle made its way to the clinic, but they were invited to walk to any of the other shuttle stops.
Plaintiff states that she was anxious about missing her public transit bus, so she began walking quickly down the sidewalk on campus until she found another university shuttle stop. The stop was very crowded and there was no place for Plaintiff to sit down and wait. Given the time of day, the cool temperatures, even colder wind and light rain, it was no surprise that the demand for shuttles was increased. Even though it was cold out the Plaintiff began to sweat profusely and gasp for air. She also suddenly vomited.
Those waiting for the shuttle made loud comments and directed her to move further away from the stop. Plaintiff sweating continued and she suddenly felt incredibly weak.
When the University Shuttle arrived, she was not able to walk over to the stop before the completely-full shuttle pulled away. She sat on the now-empty bench and began to feel severe pressure in her chest and left arm.
About 15 minutes later, the next University Shuttle bus arrived. Plaintiff was still alone on the stop. The University Shuttle driver opened the door and asked if she was OK. Plaintiff, gasping for breath, said that she was incredible pain and asked the driver to get help. The University Shuttle driver radioed the hospital ER and was told to tell the Plaintiff to call 911. The University Shuttle driver called 911 for the Plaintiff and was told that an ambulance would be there soon. The University Shuttle driver was then directed by his dispatcher â€œto return to his route or else.” The University Shuttle driver left the Plaintiff waiting for the ambulance and continued on his route.
The ambulance, which was dispatched from the local, all-volunteer town EMS, arrived 26 minutes later. As the Plaintiff was being quickly examined by the paramedic, the driver called to the Greene University ED to request permission to bring the Plaintiff in, as she was clearly in distress. The driver was told to take the Plaintiff to the Healing Grove County Hospital, 20 miles away.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions turned icy and it took over 35 minutes to arrive at the Healing Grove County Hospital. During the last 10 minutes of the trip, the Plaintiff went into cardiac arrest. Plaintiff was pronounced dead immediately upon arrival at the HealingGrove County Hospital.
Four elements of neglect supporting the guilt of the defendant:
Four elements proving the guilt of the defendantâ€™s role in the wrongful death of the plaintiff: