The family of a Florida woman who died shortly after being forcefully removed from the hospital where she was being treated is now taking legal action.
57-year-old Barbara Dawson was treated at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, FL on December 21, 2015. Despite her complaints of still having difficulty breathing, she was later discharged from the hospital. According to NBC Miami, Barbara refused to leave the hospital site, stating that she needed additional care for her respiratory issues. After she refused to leave the premises, police arrived to place Barbara under arrest for "disorderly conduct" and "trespassing."
As the officers were attempting to get her into the patrol car, Barbara collapsed and was eventually taken back to the emergency room, where she died 90 minutes later. Although the medical examiner later reported that Barbara died from a blood clot brought on by her weight, her family is looking to hold the hospital and two of its former employees who were fired after the incident accountable in court.
Hospital spokeswoman Sandi Poreda issued the following statement in light of the lawsuit: "In the wake of the incident with Ms. Dawson, our hospital has made substantial improvements in staff training as well as policies and procedures," she said. "We have also worked hard to regain the trust of our community, working hand in hand with our hospital task force to identify ways we can address community concerns."
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.