• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

You wake up in a hospital after a car accident and **** happens

Recommended Posts

tiagosilva29    952
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) - A man who was hurt in a car crash but was misidentified as a cancer patient claims security guards at Prince George's Hospital beat him up when he tried to leave the hospital to avoid chest surgery he didn't need - "to have a potentially cancerous mass removed from his chest." He adds that one guard repeatedly called him "bitch" as he roughed him up.

Joseph Wheeler says a June 23 car accident put him in the hospital, which is owned by Dimensions Health Corporation. When he woke up hungry on June 24 and asked a nurse for food, she told him he couldn't eat because he was scheduled for surgery, Wheeler claims in Prince George's County Court.

Wheeler says the nurse checked his identification bracelet and told him the surgery was "to have a potentially cancerous mass removed from his chest."

Wheeler says his ID bracelet "contained a name that was different from Mr. Wheeler's, appeared to be that of a woman, and had a birth date that was 13 years prior to his own."

The complaint continues: "Mr. Wheeler, still in serious pain from the car accident and subsequent treatment from injuries sustained, was starting to fear for his safety as the hospital had misidentified him and he was being prepped to go into a surgery that he knew nothing about.

"At this point, Mr. Wheeler's wife, Felicia Ann Wheeler, came into the room to see her husband. Mr. Wheeler immediately told Mrs. Wheeler about what was taking place. The Wheelers decided that it was in their best interest to leave Prince George's Hospital Center and seek medical care for Mr. Wheeler elsewhere."

Mrs. Wheeler confirmed with nurses outside her husband's room that he was scheduled for cancer surgery, and when she told the nurses that she and her husband were leaving, "an argument ensued."

According to the increasingly bizarre complaint, Mr. Wheeler, "hearing the argument, took out his I/V, got out of the hospital bed, put his clothes on, and started to walk out of the room. He was bleeding from the spot on his hand where that I/V had been connected.

"Mrs. Wheeler and the nurse met Mr. Wheeler at the door. The nurse told Mr. Wheeler that he was not allowed to leave. She put a bandage on Mr. Wheeler's hand to stop the bleeding from the I/V spot, and then yelled for security.

"Mr. Wheeler, now bandaged and clothed, began to walk toward the exit of the floor while his wife gathered the rest of his belongings. As he moved toward the exit, two large men in security uniforms moved quickly toward Mr. Wheeler."

These men, defendants William Reese and Donovan Scott, worked for the hospital and/or defendant Broadway Services, according to the complaint. The Wheelers say the two security guards were "immediately hostile."

"Defendant Scott harshly asked, 'Where do you think you're going?' Mr. Wheeler told both Reese and Scott that his business was finished at the hospital and that he was on his way out," the complaint states.

"In the moments immediately following this exchange, defendant Scott began to appear angry and upset with Mr. Wheeler. He began to use profanity directed at Mr. Wheeler about getting back to Wheeler's 'damn room.'

"At this point the two officers put on black padded gloves in front of Mr. Wheeler and defendant Scott started to hit his fist against his own hand and moved closer in proximity to Wheeler's face. Defendant Scott appeared angry and agitated."

Wheeler, "in fear for his safety," tried to reason with the guards.

"He told the officers that he had been in a serious car accident and suffered from multiple injuries to the torso and shoulders. Wheeler also told the officers that he was retired from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and that he knew that the security officers had no right or authority to detain him. Wheeler stated that he wanted to leave."

At that point, Wheeler says, Scott grabbed him and shoved him "hard from behind into the adjacent wall and metal railing," hurting his ribs.

The complaint continues: "Mr. Wheeler, in serious pain and feeling like he was going to black out, fell to floor. Defendant Scott stood over him and yelled, 'Get off the floor bitch! This game is over!'

"Defendant Scott continued, 'I don't care who you think you are, this is my camp, you listen to what I got to say!' The vocal officer then grabbed Mr. Wheeler and pulled him up off of the ground as Wheeler pleaded with the officer to stop hurting him.

"At this point the defendant Reese said to the vocal officer, 'Man, ease up on him. He might really be hurt.' Defendant Scott replied, 'Hell no, he don't come up in here and be telling us what the **** to do!'"

As the two guards "escorted" him back to his room, "Scott accused Wheeler of attempting to push the second officer down a flight of stairs," and "continued to shout expletives at Wheeler," according to the complaint.

Wheeler says the men took him to the hospital security office, where an unidentified lieutenant questioned him.

"After Mr. Wheeler explained what had happened, the lieutenant looked at Wheeler's hospital-provided identification bracelet and acknowledged that Wheeler had been misidentified," Wheeler says.

But that was not the end of the conflict. Wheeler says the lieutenant became agitated when he would not return the incorrect bracelet, and ordered the security guards to stop him from leaving.

He says a plainclothes hospital employee, a woman he identifies as an "administrator ... intervened in the conversation" and after he explained the situation, said she would make sure he "would have his own private room and any type of drug he wanted, just to name the pain killer."

Wheeler says he and his wife chose to leave the hospital, but when he tried to leave with the incorrect ID bracelet, one of the security guards "charged Wheeler, again calling Wheeler 'bitch,' and shoved him against the wall."

"Mr. Wheeler spent the next three days at St. Mary's Hospital and was diagnosed with four broken ribs, a sprained shoulder, a ruptured spleen, and a concussion," he says.

The Wheelers seek $3.2 million in compensatory damages and $9.5 million in punitive damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Bryan Dugan with Dugan, McKissick, Wood & Longmore of Lexington Park, Md.

Courthouse News Service

Original court complaint, PDF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Denis W.    731

Forget a lawsuit, that employee/guard should be charged. (assuming this story is the entire unedited truth)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Singh400    184

:\ Why didn't they just go to reception, and explain what the problem was. And then discharge themselves? Not that I am defending what the hospital did of course. And those "security guards" need to be sacked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tews    207

They'll get every penny in an out of court settlement and then some in punitive damages...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FiB3R    1,663

I wish this wold happen to me, well worth it for $12.7 million.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sidroc    1,201

I wish this wold happen to me, well worth it for $12.7 million.

By law if this is true then yeah its a BIG problem. Patients are allowed to leave AMA (Against Medical Advice) at will. We have patients do this all the time and the only time we call security is if the person is charted as confused AND resisting care to the point of the Aids not being able to control them, or if we have to Issue a Code Grey or Silver (combative patient)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+warwagon    13,177

Spaces.....must...........have........Spaces..... AY my eyes!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
McCordRm    446

I found the story plausible until the part about the Security gaurds laugh.gif. Their is a ton missing from this story or something.

I think the part that's missing goes something like this:

Patient: What do you mean you want to cut me open?? I'm out of here.

Nurse/Doctor: Guards, restrain him.

Patient: Kiss my ass... *Fight ensues*

And here's the thing... if a hospital was going to start cutting into me over a mix up,

you can bet your ass I'd have started a fight, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sidroc    1,201

I think the part that's missing goes something like this:

Patient: What do you mean you want to cut me open?? I'm out of here.

Nurse/Doctor: Guards, restrain him.

Patient: Kiss my ass... *Fight ensues*

And here's the thing... if a hospital was going to start cutting into me over a mix up,

you can bet your ass I'd have started a fight, too.

If thats what happened allot of rules were broke. You cannot use restraints in almost all circumstances. Let me give you an example. we had a combative patient who was too weak too stand but could deliver a mean punch in close range., Want to know what we were allowed to do? Put a mat on the floor encase he/she (cant give out identifying info such as gender HIPPA rules) tried to stand and falls and continue to care for him/her and hope you don't get punched. Given how often I see patients completely fabricating cases to try and get the hospital to settle or something along these lines, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of this story is completely and utterly false.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bioran    11

Why don't they just explain the mistake to the hospital? Surely they have some sort of identification present?

Of course, it wasn't clear in the article whether they did that or not, though it'd be rather irrational of them if they didn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamsburnred    14

Forget a lawsuit, that employee/guard should be charged. (assuming this story is the entire unedited truth)

I 2nd that, its a clear over reaction, and lack of training by employee(s).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Alan-    11

This saddens me that no one else around was even paying attention to this abuse. If I were a doctor, which I plan to be, I live to help people. This however is quite the opposite of helping, I'd not have that going on in my hospital. I hope this guy gets every penny in the law suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hendrick    11

As long as it's the truth, I hope he wins every penny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nukenorman    44

Why am I not surprised that this story is coming out of America. They wanted him to have the surgery so the hospital could make an extra "profit".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Calum    819

As much as I despise what the guards did, if it is true, and agree that some sort of lawsuit needs to be taken, is that amount of money really needed? It sounds greedy, to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bloodrain    7

Stuff like this only happens in Europe. Weird it's spreading to Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
COKid    874

Why am I not surprised that this story is coming out of America. They wanted him to have the surgery so the hospital could make an extra "profit".

Why am I not surprised that this story is coming out of America. People will say anything, even if it's a lie, in order to sue someone else for "profit".

You see, it goes both ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nukenorman    44

Yea its sad America has become a lawsuit hungry nation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skyfrog    726

What kind of hospital doesn't allow you to leave? It's not a prison. Everyone involved in this should be fired and sued into oblivion.

Yea its sad America has become a lawsuit hungry nation.

You wake up in a hospital badly insured, find out they think you are the wrong person and are planning surgery that you don't need and possibly could kill you, then they not only hold you prisoner but beat the crap out of you doing further injury. Are you saying you wouldn't sue and that this guy doesn't deserve to? BS.

Frivolous lawsuits are a problem, but this is not one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
primexx    372

why aren't the guards being criminally charged?

and the story is easy to corroborate, check the other hospital's records

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Growled    3,880

I'm not sure I buy this story. People can and do refuse treatment every day. They are not abused because of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tiagosilva29    952
It sounds greedy, to me.

It isn't greedy. It's called punitive damages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
acnpt    39

Look on the bright side, at least you didn't wake up after an unwanted sex change op too. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.