In a gut-churning violent crime in 1997, an Ohio man violently assaulted his girlfriend for trying to end their relationship. He knocked her down on the pavement and stomped on her head with his boot-clad feet. The kicking caused brain damage, and since the attack the woman lived in at least six nursing homes until her death in August 2009. Her death led to the assaulter’s indictment on one count of homicide in December 2010.
However the man has defended himself by alleging that it is not the assault, but that hospital malpractice is to blame for the woman’s death.
The assistant county prosecutor ascribed the woman’s untimely demise to “the defendant severely kick[ing] her head in” whereas counsel for the defense identified the cause as being “likely medical malpractice.”
Because of the legal position taken by the man and his counsel, they are trying to retain a high-profile forensic pathologist as an expert witness. This move is opposed by the prosecution because the pathologist’s high fees would need to be paid by the taxpayer-funded court system as the defendant is broke.
Not long after the crime the man had pled guilty to one count of attempted murder and been given an eight-year sentence. As unforgivable as the man’s crime is, the fact remains that the law must be applied evenly and equally.
Ohio sees its fair share of hospital mistakes or nursing errors. So, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that these may have been the proximate cause of the woman’s demise.
Attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice are highly educated in the medical aspects of the law and sometimes ferret out a small but crucial error that snowballed into a person’s iatrogenic death. Anyone who needs to dig into the truth behind a mysterious or unexplained death in a hospital or nursing home may be well served by retaining a medical malpractice lawyer.
Source: The Dayton Daily News, “Decision on expert witness from Anthony trial could take weeks,” Lou Grieco, Sept. 6, 2011