Local News

Report Details Case Of Man Wrongly Pronounced Dead

Posted February 1, 2005 5:18 a.m. EST

— Franklin County workers checked a man's vital signs only once before wrongly declaring him dead and saw his eyes twitch afterwards, but chalked it up to involuntary muscle movements, according to a report.

Franklin County Commissioners heard from county attorney Barnell Batton Monday night in a report that outlined the steps that lead to Larry Donnell Green being mistaken for dead.

Last week, Green was hit by a car in Franklin County. EMS workers thought Green was dead for two hours, but he was later determined to be alive and taken to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition.

The report found that only one emergency responder checked for vital signs. Another one who was on the call said "that's good enough for me" and did not check Green's condition.

Batton read a long list of people who could have also checked the vital signs, but did not.

Read The Franklin County Attorney's Report

"Four trained paramedics who shared in the responsibility to provide care to Mr. Green allowed themselves to be talked out of what care could have been given to Mr. Green," Batton said at a meeting Monday night that drew dozens of people who wanted to hear the report.

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."

"They didn't do their job," said Geraldine Foster, Green's cousin. "I feel like justice needs to be done."

The county attorney's report mandated a second paramedic to verify death, cardiac monitors to help determine a patient's status and more training.

"A miracle to me is to see my child move," said Larry Alston, Green's father. "That's a miracle. We're relieved he's alive, but we're hoping for a full recovery and everything."