Los Angeles County Settles Rodriguez Case
The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles County has reached a settlement agreement with the family of Edith Rodriguez for three million dollars. The settlement resulted from the medical malpractice lawsuit for the tragic 2007 death of Rodriguez at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. In May 2007, Rodriguez died on the floor of the hospital’s emergency room after 45 minutes of anguish, crying for help. Despite her pleas, the hospital staff did not help her and eventually called county police rather than giving the woman the care she needed.
Doctors and hospitals are supposed to be held to a minimum standard of care that they owe their patients. In part, this requirement is in place to bolster the standards of the profession. However, the greater reason for this requirement is to ensure that medical professionals remember to treat the sick and infirm with dignity, compassion and respect.
Edith Rodriguez received no dignity, no compassion and no respect as she died on the floor of an emergency room lobby. Her death brought intense scrutiny on the hospital and staff, eventually resulting in the closure of the facility by federal investigators. Her family pursued justice by filing a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, asking for $45 million dollars for medical malpractice and civil rights issues.