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Tort claim notice could lead to wrongful death lawsuit

An Orlando law firm has taken on the case of a woman who died in January of last year in a New Mexico hospital. A tort claim notice alleges that the victim received "substandard care" that may have contributed to her death.

The woman passed away just a day after she received treatment for a urinary tract infection. That's a relatively common condition among females, and is generally treated with medication. Her death certificate, however, states that the fatality resulted from "mixed drug intoxication." The drugs found in her system reportedly included morphine, fentanyl and hydrocodone.

This is not the only tort claim notice filed against the Raton, New Mexico, medical facility. Another woman says that part of one of her legs was amputated because of the "negligence of care" she received at the hospital in January of last year. That's the same month that the other woman died.

Generally, a tort claim notice precedes a lawsuit. Neither of these tort claim notices has progressed to a lawsuit yet, however. The Chief Executive Officer of the medical center where the two women were treated said that they turn over such notices to the state's risk management agency as well as the general services department.

It was not reported why a Florida law firm was involved in a case where the treatment took place in another state. However, family members of people whom they believe died as the result of medical negligence or improper treatment have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit asking for damages to cover medical and burial costs, lost wages and emotional distress caused by the untimely death of a loved one.

Source: Sangre Chronicle, "Raton hospital could be sued for woman’s death" Kimberly Adams, Feb. 15, 2014

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