Local News

Appeals court blocks lawsuit over man declared dead

Posted November 15, 2011

Larry Donnell Green

— 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.

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  • flipper59 Nov 16, 2011

    I feel for him, and I know first hand how his family must feel. Unfortunately for him that common sense is not law. Civil rights? Not all of us does this amendment apply too.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 15, 2011

    Good ruling.

  • nevergo55mph Nov 15, 2011

    Even after Greene was taken out of body bag and a paramedic saw his eyes twitch, nothing was done, Batton said.

    According to Batton, a paramedic asked the medical examiner about the eye twitch and if the medical examiner was sure Green was dead.

    The doctor responded that it was "a muscle spasm -- like a frog leg jumping in a frying pan."

    I was just reading reorts from 2005..and came across the above in one report....I do Hope this family will continue their battle....even tho the county reached a settlement...someone needs to be held responsible for allowing this man to go without proper medical help for so long..

  • nevergo55mph Nov 15, 2011

    This is SO WRONG...I do not understand how a Judge can say the personnel involved were not grossly negligent in their duty or how they are exempt from liability. If the man had been given a through and competent exam for respritory and heart sounds...then he could not have been declared dead at the scene...because obviously he had both for without the heartbeat there will be NO breath, and without breath there will VERY SOON be NO heartbeat. With 10+ years in EMS as both volunteer and paid personnel..I don't understand the 2 1/2 hour delay in the exam at the morgue...in the county I worked in the body was examined, by the coronor/medical examiner, and a full report of our findings given to same BEFORE EMS personnel left the morgue.
    Besides the legal responsibility someone took at the scene to declare this man dead, where did they leave their moral obligation to fully examine this person before he was declared dead?

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Nov 15, 2011

    SO THE EMT'S THAT BAGGED HIM UP WITHOUT HIM BEING DEAD OWE NOTHING TO HIM? THAT'S SAD....THEY SCREWED UP HIS LIFE, AND DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. THAT'S WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE NEGLIGENCE INSURANCE LIKE PHARMACISTS AND DOCTORS HAVE.