Health Law

Hospital wins court ruling to boot 'belligerent' patient, but battle continues over free in-home bed


A Connecticut hospital won a court ruling requiring a “belligerent” patient to comply with a discharge order and vacate her acute-care bed.

And patient Margo Smith was, in fact, transported home, a day after the court OK’d injunctive relief for St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and 23 days after she was initially discharged, ABC News reports.

The hospital says in a written statement that the facility “arranged for transportation from the hospital to the patient’s home along with the necessary equipment to ensure the patient’s safety.”

However, Smith, who says she suffers from paralyzing arthritis as well as other health issues, is unhappy with the bed provided for her at home and is working with a legal aid lawyer to petition for a better one.

“I wake in horror every day because of one thing—the bed is lumpy,” Smith said. “They sent me a small bed. My arms are hanging over the edge of the bed. I’m 305 pounds so my body’s hanging over.”

Attorney David Haught of Cooney, Scully, and Dowling represents the hospital. He said his client could not provide the $37,000 bed that Smith originally wanted because the medical equipment company would only sell it to a facility with staff to operate it.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Hospital sues to boot ‘belligerent’ patient from acute-care bed”

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