Guardians of man wrongly declared dead on hook for lawsuit costs
Posted October 4, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Friday that the guardians of a Franklin County man mistakenly declared dead in 2005 after he was struck by a car are liable for all legal costs surrounding their unsuccessful lawsuit in the case.
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 when the medical examiner noticed that he was breathing. He has needed 24-hour care ever since.
State courts a few years ago turned back a lawsuit against fire and rescue workers and the medical examiner, saying that their actions didn't amount to gross negligence. Green's guardians were ordered to pay court costs, but costs continued to pile up before a final judgment was entered.
The defendants sought to have the guardians pay those additional costs, and the Supreme Court agreed.