Charla Aldous recently secured a $695,000 settlement for the family of George Cornell, a 49-year-old man who was restrained face down by psych technicians at Parkland Memorial Hospital for as long as 25 minutes before he stopped breathing.
Cornell, who suffered from heart ailments and schizophrenia, was taken to the hospital’s psych ER in February of 2011, where he struggled with staffers and refused treatment. He was then given a combination of anti-psychotics and powerful sedatives, which reportedly pose cardiac risks. Cornell was also placed in solitary confinement before he died.
“This felt like a long battle, but we accomplished what we wanted: to bring attention to the dangers at the hospital,” said Jane Pena, Cornell’s mother, to the Dallas Morning News. “I try not to dwell on how George died. I just hope that no one else has to go what he went through.”
His death was the first of many patient-care failures by Parkland Memorial Hospital that nearly shut the hospital down about five years ago. State and federal investigations were launched after patients, including those suffering from mental illness, were not cared for properly due to supervisory breakdowns over several years. In order to prevent its closure, the hospital spent an estimated $60 million improving care and supervision, top executives were replaced, and the federal Medicare program installed safety monitors.
Cornell’s family filed a federal suit in 2012 alleging “gross violations’’ of his civil rights. Days before the case was set to go to trial in November, a judge ordered Parkland Memorial Hospital to turn over internal records that were previously not being released. Settlement talks began soon after.
At Aldous \ Walker LLP, our Dallas wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to providing people in need with the experienced and passionate legal representation they require. If you or someone you love was seriously injured due to someone else’s wrongful actions, we’re ready to stand in your corner and help you fight for the legal outcome you deserve. Call us at (214) 307-6307 to tell us about your situation, or send us the details of your case through our online form today.