Local News

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

Posted December 18, 2013 6:58 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2013 8:06 p.m. EST

— 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.