Daughter sues ambulance, home care for father's death

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 13, 2005, 12:04pm

The daughter of a man who died while coming home from the hospital in an ambulance filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court June 13 against Medstar Ambulance and BJC Home Medical Equipment.

Paula Edgar, executrix of the estate of Paul Worthen, claims Medstar failed to treat her father's deteriorating condition and deal with a life-threatening inability to breathe sufficient oxygen on June 11, 2003.

Edgar also claims Medstar was negligent by failing to:

  • Provide basic care and equipment necessary to prevent death of their patient including proper administration of oxygen according to doctor’s orders;

  • Oversee and properly train the EMT staff and assure that proper protocol was followed with regard to the treatment for, and the prevention of, suffocation; and

  • Use the ambulance as a safe harbor to sustain and protect Worthen’s life until the equipment in the home could be properly set up.

    Edgar claims BJC Hospice in Alton failed to properly equip and set up the home health care in a manner that would allow a safe transition from the ambulance to the home and failed to have staff present to monitor the patient's deteriorating condition, and failing to provide basic care and equipment to prevent the death of their patient.

    According to the complaint, Worthen’s condition was not stabilized or sustained, but was greatly aggravated and worsened, and he was not properly transferred to his home health care environment which caused extreme health complications leading to his death.

    Edgar is seeking at least $200,000 in damages claiming she and her siblings have been deprived of the support, companionship, and society of their father, thereby, suffering a direct pecuniary loss.

    She is represented by Aaron Dickey of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller & Antognoli of Edwardsville. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

    05 L 547

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