May 30, 2017

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Alleges Hospital Worked Nurse To Death


James Jasper alleges that his wife, an Ohio nurse, was knowingly “worked to death,” CNN reported.

picture of a nurseElizabeth Jasper was killed in a car accident on March 16 while driving home from work. A recently filed wrongful death lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages for loss of consortium, pain and suffering and mental anguish, alleging that fatigue from being overworked contributed to her death.

She was employed as a registered nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Jewish Hospital, where she was typically scheduled to work three 12-hour shifts each week. However, the suit alleges that after the hospital came under the ownership of Mercy Health Partners of Southwest Ohio, her actual working hours “routinely and significantly” surpassed her scheduled time. Also, since she was one of a “handful of nurses” qualified to work dialysis machines she was routinely called into work while off-duty.

Allegedly, from 2011, when Mercy took ownership, onward, the nurses’ unit was “regularly understaffed,” causing some of the nurses to work through breaks and pick up additional shifts. Generally, nurses reported being effectively forced to choose between temporarily abandoning helpless patients in order to take bathroom breaks and simply continuing the shift without using the restroom.

Specifically, Elizabeth allegedly told other nurses that she was “really stressed” and “hadn’t eaten,” during her final shift.

Eric Deters, an attorney for the widower, said that Elizabeth may have fallen asleep before her car veered off the road, jumped an embankment and struck a tree. The 38-year-old woman left behind her husband of nearly 14 years, a 6-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, WCPO Cincinnati reported.

“Something needs to change,” James told WCPO Cincinnati. “These [nurses] cannot be treated this way the patient care is an issue but they can’t continue to work these nurses and expect them to pick up the slack because they don’t want to staff the hospital.”

The lawsuit alleges that her supervisor expressed concern prior to her death that “Ms. Jasper was being ‘worked to death,’” but ownership refused to take “reasonable steps” to make the situation better.

“Our hearts go out to the family,” a released statement from a hospital spokeswoman reads. “We do not comment on pending litigation.”







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