Appeals court blocks lawsuit over man declared dead
Posted November 15, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina court has again turned back a negligence lawsuit over a man mistakenly declared dead in 2005 when he was struck by a vehicle, zipped into a body bag and taken to a morgue.
Larry Donnell Green was walking along U.S. Highway 401 north of Louisburg on Jan. 24, 2005, when he was hit by a car. Paramedics responding to the accident declared Green dead, although they didn't thoroughly examine him.
Green was rushed from the morgue to the hospital about 2½ hours after the accident. He has needed 24-hour care since the accident.
The state Court of Appeals upheld Tuesday a lower court ruling that determined fire and rescue workers and Louisburg Rescue can't be sued by Green's guardian.
Judge Donna Stroud wrote it doesn't appear the workers' actions could be considered gross negligence. The court says they're otherwise exempt from liability.
An appeals panel ruled last year the former Franklin County medical examiner couldn't be sued.