Settlement reached in hospital floor death
(AP) - The family of a woman who died on a hospitalfloor, struggling to get up while staffers ignored her, has settleda wrongful-death lawsuit against the city for $2 million. But the family of Esmin Green, whose death was recorded on ahospital security video, still is awaiting a full investigationinto what happened at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn,family lawyer Sanford Rubenstein said Wednesday. "What remains most important to this family is the criminalculpability for those responsible for what happened and those whoattempted to cover it up," Rubenstein said. Green, a 49-year-old psychiatric patient, had been in a waitingroom at the city-owned hospital for nearly 24 hours when shecollapsed on June 19, 2008. Neither fellow patients nor thehospital's staff moved to help her, even as she thrashed her legson the floor and tried to get up. Two security guards and a memberof the hospital's medical staff can be seen on the video stoppingto look at her briefly before walking away. Green stopped moving after about 30 minutes. She was on thefloor for an hour before a nurse checked her pulse. The medicalexaminer said she suffered from blood clots. Six hospital employees lost their jobs over the incident, andthe video prompted national outrage when it became public soonafter. The U.S. Department of Justice cited Green's death among otherabuses in a February report that documented a pattern of whatinvestigators said was "inadequate care," violence among patientsand sexual abuse at Kings County. That report became public when Alan Aviles, president of thecity's Health and Hospitals Corp., announced reforms at thehospital including the replacement of its top two administratorsand the addition of 200 medical personnel to its 600-member staff. Aviles said the improvements would shorten the average timepatients wait in the psychiatric emergency room to eight hours,down from 27 hours. Aviles said Wednesday's settlement with the Green family was"not meant to put a value on a life and the loss of a loved one." "The indelible memory of this tragedy will spur us to fulfillour promise to create a national model of patient-centered mentalhealth services at Kings County Hospital," he said in a statement.