Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Negligence of Nurses at Hospital

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By: Staff Writers | Published: March 11th, 2010

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against nurses at the Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois, alleging that they ignored numerous complaints from a woman who eventually died due to complications with a respiratory infection. 

The nurse negligence lawsuit was filed last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court by Cletus Schmittling, whose wife, Carole Schmittling, died at the hospital on February 12, 2008. The lawsuit names the hospital and nurses Josefina Nance and Cathy Allen as defendants.

Schmittling was a resident of the Memorial Convalescent Center, which is managed by the hospital, when she began to show signs of a respiratory infection, according to a story in the St. Clair Record. In early 2008, she made numerous complaints to the nursing staff about her health, but the lawsuit alleges that those complaints were ignored.

The litigation claims that Scmittling, in the span of three days, from January 24 through 26, complained that she had been coughing up blood, that she was too tired to perform physical therapy, that she felt ill and that she feared that a previous respiratory infection was returning. Nurses indicated that her blood oxygen level dropped from 97% to 92%, and that she had a temperature that ran as high as 100 degrees. Cletus Schmittling also alleges that he complained to the nurses about his wife’s health.

He accuses the nurses at the hospital of medical malpractice for ignoring his wife’s complaints and failing to report her declining condition to her doctor. The lawsuit says that Scmittling was suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress, which the nurses should have recognized and reported to her doctor.

The lawsuit charges the nurses and the hospital with negligence, and seeks compensatory damages in excess of $150,000.

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