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Hospital's security company sued after Harnett County man's death

Posted December 18, 2013

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— The family of a Harnett County man who died Nov. 22, 2011, while on his way home from a Fayetteville hospital has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital's security provider, claiming employees showed "conscious disregard" for his safety.

The complaint was filed in Cumberland County late last month against AlliedBarton Security Services on behalf of the family of A'Darrin "Jonte" Washington, 30.

Washington, who had non-Hodgkin lymphoma – a cancer of the blood – had been at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center at the time for a week being treated for recurrent pneumonia.

His mother, Deborah Washington said a day after his death that hospital staff considered him stable enough for discharge despite protests from her son that he didn't want to go home.

They arranged for a van to take him home, she said, and by the time he arrived, he was dead.

According to the wrongful death complaint, which is seeking unspecified punitive damages, a nurse called security after Washington was "uncooperative."

It maintains that security workers should have known that Washington, described as "unresponsive" and "slumped over in his wheelchair," was in no shape to leave the hospital and that the driver who took transported Washington expressed concern that he was dead.

Despite his condition, the suit claims, security employees strapped Washington in the van and crossed his legs.

"Defendants' agents and employees did not undertake any independent investigation to ascertain whether (A'Darrin Washington) was in fact gravely ill such that he was not fit for discharge and was in fact in need of urgent medical care," the lawsuit states.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, which came under review by federal regulators after Washington's death, is not named in the lawsuit.

Neither Washington's mother nor Chapel Hill attorney Lynne Holtkamp, who filed the suit, could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Allied Barton had no comment.

9 Comments

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Dec 23, 2013

    Jump1 - "Should sue the insurance company as well."

    The guy was on Medicaid.

    See what we have to look forward to with Obamacare.

    smh

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Dec 23, 2013

    "It maintains that security workers should have known that Washington, described as "unresponsive" and "slumped over in his wheelchair," was in no shape to leave the hospital and that the driver who took transported Washington expressed concern that he was dead."

    They were following doctor's orders, orders given because the guy was on Medicaid, and Medicaid is the final authority, even though the doctor should be the final authority.

    See what we're all in store for with Obamacare.

    Still, this lawsuit against the security company has no merit.

  • Jump1 Dec 19, 2013

    Should sue the insurance company as well.

  • sunshine1040 Dec 19, 2013

    Medicaid said they would not longer pay so that means it is time to leave the hospital or for family to come up with the money. And you think the new insurance laws are going to change that.

  • simplelogic Dec 19, 2013

    "its not cost effective to keep anyone longer than needed"

    We'll see how that cost/benefit analysis worked out for them after the lawsuit...IF that's what happened.

  • Lightfoot3 Dec 19, 2013

    Sounds like a valid suit to me.

  • lopo Dec 19, 2013

    This is perfect example of what happens with socialized medicine. I bet they had medicaid which the government pays very little so its not cost effective to keep anyone longer than needed. We will see more of treat and go as we move toward socialism.

  • johnthompsonsr1 Dec 19, 2013

    Security should never have touched him. As long as he is not hurting anyone or busting up the place they should have called police to have him trespassed. And yes security should not be the ones that decide if patient is able to be discharged or not. If patient was terminal maybe hospital should have tried to get patient into a hospice facility.

  • bnlncteach Dec 18, 2013

    Security are not medical professionals. The doctors said he needed to go and where was this overly concerned family? Why weren't they there with him and helping get him home. Show up for a law suit ?