A North Carolina woman says her son who was dying or already dead was sent home in a taxi by hospital security guards who called him "uncooperative” because he was "refusing to talk or move."
A'Darrin Washington's mother, Deborah Washington, has filed a lawsuit against AlliedBarton Security Services for alleging that her son wasn’t responsive "due to the fact that he was dying." She is seeking punitive damages for negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to the Courthouse News Service.
A'Darrin Washington died on Nov. 22, 2011 at the age of 30. He was admitted to Cumberland County Hospital on Nov. 14 and misdiagnosed with bacterial pneumonia, which was later found to be fungal pneumonia, according to the lawsuit. Washington, who had Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was weak, unable to walk and in pain. Court records show Washington was a patient of the hospital for 10 years for treatment for recurrent pneumonia associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
On Nov. 21, after receiving the correct medication for his illness, doctors considered him stable and a candidate for discharge although he continued to show signs that he was considerably weak, his mother said. On Nov. 22, the hospital called a taxi service to transport him home.
"(A) nurse called for security to escort Mr. Washington from his hospital bed to the lobby for discharge because Mr. Washington was allegedly 'uncooperative' and 'refusing to talk or move,'" the complaint states.
Despite being unresponsive, security guards escorted Washington to the taxi and secured him with a seatbelt, according to the complaint. Two hospital workers and the taxi driver “expressed concerns” over Washington’s state, his mother claims. Washington remained unconscious for the 45-minute ride home. When he arrived, he was "unresponsive and cold to the touch," according to the lawsuit.
On her Facebook page, Deborah Washington recently posted a photo of her late son. “Still hurts, crying when no one is around,” she wrote in a comment marking the two year anniversary since his death. An earlier photo shows a tattoo she received on her arm: “In loving memory of my son, Jonte, his spirit lives on!