Trials & Litigation

Family sues security company, alleges guards at hospital sent dying man home in cab

A lawsuit filed against a security company asserts that its guards at a North Carolina hospital put an “uncooperative” patient in a taxi, where he died on the way home.

Deborah Washington, the dead man’s mother, accuses the guards of negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress, Courthouse News Service reports.

Washington’s son, A’Darrin Washington, 30, was found dead in the back seat of a cab on Nov. 22, 2011, after being discharged from the Cumberland County Hospital in Fayetteville, the suit alleges.

Washington, who suffered recurrent pneumonia associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, had been admitted to the hospital Nov. 14, according to the complaint. On Nov. 21, the hospital declared him stable and prepared him for discharge.

The next morning, the hospital called a taxi service to take Washington home, the suit says. A nurse called for security to escort Washington to the lobby because he allegedly was being “uncooperative” and “refusing to talk or move.”

Security guards took Washington to the lobby in a wheelchair, put him in a taxi and buckled him into the back seat, the suit alleges.

Upon arrival at his mother’s home 45 minutes later, the suit says, Washington was unresponsive and cold to the touch.

Officials at AlliedBarton Security Services, which provides security for the hospital, could not be reached by Courthouse News Service for comment.

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