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Hospital Security Guards Accused of Placing Dead Patient in Taxi

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Security guards hired to monitor and patrol Cumberland County Hospital sent an unresponsive, dying man home in a taxi, according to a lawsuit filed by the deceased’s mother.

Deborah Washington is suing AlliedBarton Security Services for negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress for mishandling her ill son A’Darrin Washington. The plaintiff’s son had been a patient at CCH for 10 years because he suffered from recurrent pneumonia associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On Nov. 14, 2011, A’Darrin Washington was admitted to the hospital and misdiagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. Days later, it was determined that he had fungal pneumonia and had been receiving the wrong medication, Courthouse News Service reports.

Washington, who hospital staff workers described as weak, unable to walk and in pain, finally received the first dose of the right medication on Nov. 21. Hospital officials soon declared him stable and prepared for discharge, although Washington was still weak and seriously ill, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint states that a nurse called security to transport the patient, as he had allegedly become “uncooperative” and “refusing to talk or move.” Two guards then took Washington to the lobby and loaded him into a taxi, despite two hospital employees and the taxi driver voicing concerns that the man was already dead.

The plaintiff maintains that her son was unconscious during the 45-minute taxi ride and was dead when he arrived at his destination.

Deborah Washington seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

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