Settlement reached in MLK Hospital negligence case

The family of a woman who died after waiting for treatment in King Harbor Medical Center’s emergency room is entitled to a $3 million settlement from Los Angeles County. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says large numbers of Internet users watched a security camera recording of the woman’s final hour.

The family of a woman who died after waiting for treatment in King Harbor Medical Center’s emergency room is entitled to a $3 million settlement from Los Angeles County. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says large numbers of Internet users watched a security camera recording of the woman’s final hour.

Cheryl Devall: A lawyer for the family of Edith Rodriguez says the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has agreed to the settlement of its lawsuit. The suit originated in an episode that cast the Willowbrook hospital in the glare of national publicity – 43-year-old Rodriguez writhed on the floor of the King Harbor emergency room for 45 minutes while medical and other personnel worked around her.

She had visited the hospital several times complaining of abdominal pain, and she died from complications from a perforated bowel. A widely-seen video of her agony hastened calls to improve the county-operated hospital that closed almost two years ago after it failed several inspections.

Rodriguez’ three children sued L.A. County claiming medical malpractice and violations of their mother’s civil rights. Their lawyer called the settlement fair. Rodriguez’ boyfriend, who accompanied her to the emergency room and called 911 from a pay phone there, received a quarter-million dollars from the county.

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