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Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Friday, January 29, 2016

Buffalo Area Man Pronounced Dead in Error

Is it medical malpractice to pronounce a person dead who is, in fact, alive?

We turn to medical professionals at doctor’s offices and hospitals for help and we trust them with our lives. Many of these individuals are bound by the Hippocratic Oath, which requires them to do no harm. But, what happens when a doctor is so negligent that he lets someone die unnecessarily? This is considered medical malpractice and is what seems to have taken place at an upstate New York hospital last year.

Michael Cleveland suffered from what most thought was a heart attack while grocery shopping in 2015. He was taken to Degraff Memorial Hospital and was immediately pronounced dead by Dr. Gregory Perry. Unfortunately, Dr. Perry failed to take the patient’s vital signs and discover that he was alive and suffering from a collapsed lung. Dr. Perry told Cleveland’s wife of his passing and even informed her that he would be exhibiting some signs of life even though he was dead. When Cleveland began to respond to his wife she knew something was wrong. After informing the doctor and being reassured, the wife claims that Dr. Perry finally checked the patient’s vital signs and found that he was alive. Cleveland was then transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center where he died from complications relating to his collapsed lung.

Cleveland’s wife has brought a medical malpractice suit against both hospitals. She is seeking monetary damages for her husband’s alleged wrongful death but has said that her main goal is to prevent this from happening to someone else in the future.

Medical malpractice is not always as obvious as it is in this case. Sometimes it takes years to discover that you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice. Nonetheless, if you believe that you have been affected by the negligence of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today, and one of our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you recover what you deserve.


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