Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Failure to supply oxygen cause in Pittsburgh area death?

It has been asserted that a medical supply company failed to supply oxygen for a Wilkinsburg woman, and because of this she ran out of oxygen and subsequently died. The 57-year old woman had been prescribed oxygen, but the company from which she was to receive the oxygen told her family members that they did not deliver oxygen on Sunday.

Though the woman did suffer from lung cancer at the time of her death, paramedics and police reported that a lack of oxygen was what caused her death. Family members have since filed a wrongful death action against the medical supply company.

Especially in circumstances where the need for oxygen could mean the difference between life and death, one would believe that the company should have been more responsive to calls by family members. It is quite possible locating the necessary oxygen is a difficult task, and family members may not have known where else to procure it.

Wrongful death actions can be difficult in that an attorney must show that the actions or neglect of the defendant were responsible for the death of the victim. This may require reviewing of medical records, establishing what communications took place between the parties, etc.

The only defense the company has so far raised was that the woman "had adequate oxygen equipment at her home." If this is or is not a true statement, it will still be left up to the courts to decide as to whether the company owed the woman a duty of supplying the oxygen on Sunday, and whether that duty was actually breached.

A medical supply company cannot be indifferent when it comes to the health of individuals they serve.

Source: Pittsburgh Businesstimes, "Apria named in wrongful-death lawsuit," by Kris B. Mamula, Nov. 7, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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