Mom Says Hospital Forcibly Ejected Dead Son for Being 'Unresponsive'

A North Carolina mother is accusing security guards at a local hospital of forcibly ejecting her son from the hospital for being "uncooperative" — despite the fact that he was either dying or already dead.

Deborah Washington says her son A'Darrin Washington suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and had been a patient at Cumberland County Hospital for ten years leading up to the November 2011 incident.

As a result of his disease, A'Darrin had frequent bouts of pneumonia, for which he was regularly hospitalized.

He was admitted on Nov. 14 for what doctors initially believed was bacterial pneumonia.

It wasn't until a few days later that test showed he had been misdiagnosed, and was actually suffering from fungal pneumonia.

Being given multiple doses of the wrong medicine caused A'Darrin's condition to worsen severely, but on Nov. 21, the same day he had finally been given a dose of the correct medicine, doctors ruled him stable enough to be discharged.

A'Darrin's mother says her son was still too ill to leave, but hospital staff insisted.

So much so, that the following morning, a nurse called for security to escort A'Darrin out as he was being "uncooperative" and "refusing to talk or move."

According to Washington, A'Darrin was being "unresponsive" because he was dying and had lost the ability to function.

In her complaint, Washington states that, before becoming unresponsive, A'Darrin "sought not to be discharged...[based] upon information and belief."

But security guards from AlliedBarton Security Services hauled him out to the street just the same, according to the lawsuit filed by Washington against the security company.

As two hospital staff members "expressed concerns" for A'Darrin, the guards proceeded to load his body into a taxi and cross his legs for him.

Washington says the taxi driver believed A'Darrin may already be dead, but nonetheless drove him the 45 minutes it took to get him back home.

A'Darrin arrived "unresponsive and cold to the touch," his mother alleges. He was officially pronounced dead a short while later.

Courthouse News Service says Washington is seeking compensatory and punitive damages "for negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress."

[photo via Steven Glassman]