Friday, July 8, 2005

The needle and the lawsuit begun

As in politics, as in life… a weak constitution is lucrative to those who have the indecency to take advantage of it. I hope you're sitting down for this one

A California woman is suing a hospital for wrongful death because her husband fainted and suffered a fatal injury after helping delivery room staff give her a pain-killing injection.

[…] In June 2004, [Jeanette] Passalaqua's husband, Steven Passalaqua, was asked by Kaiser [Foundation Hospital] staff to hold and steady his wife while an employee inserted an epidural needle into her back, court papers said. The sight of the needle caused Steven Passalaqua, 33, to faint and he fell backward, striking his head on an aluminum cap molding at the base of the wall.

[…] Because Passalaqua was solicited by Kaiser to assist in the epidural, the lawsuit said, the hospital "owed him a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injuries resulting from his participation."
At the risk of sounding callous, didn't Passalagua owe himself a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable squeamishness and exercise his own judgment about whether or not to participate?

HT: Neale News


Kyla said...

I've had many big macho men offer, even demand, to assist when their animal was hurt. At least 3 passed out cold at the site of a massive injury. One passed out cold when I merely drew a blood sample.

None of these men had ever passed out before, and didn't know they would.

The hospital should have had their own people do the procedure (with the husband sitting near his wife's head to comfort her).

This is one of a very few instances where I think the person has a legitimate case.

You go in to have a baby, you come out a widow with a newborn. If the staff member hadn't recruited the husband, it would not have happened.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the poor guy protested, insisting that he had a huge fear of needles & didn't want to do it, but the hospital staff persisted, and ultimately cajoled him into helping, saying he wasn't a good dad if he didn't help, etc. Sad story.