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North Carolina Health System Faces Litigation After A Fatality Resulting From Possible Medical Malpractice

Two suits were filed accusing Cape Fear Valley Health in Fayetteville of medical negligence in caring for a patient who died. David Bryant Sr., a 67-year-old, was admitted to the hospital complaining of minor injuries after falling. The suit states that Bryant developed large bedsores and later died as an eventual result of the neglect. The sores were said to have progressed to a point were bone was visible. One sore was terribly infected and led to the need for amputation of his leg. 

The lawsuits claim that the hospital attempted to mask the negligence by ordering him to be transferred to another facility and essentially “hiding” the patient from his family. Ten days after Bryant arrived at Duke University Hospital he died. The lawsuit requests that Bryant’s records be disclosed to the family’s attorneys.

After being at Cape Fear, Bryant’s leg was placed in a brace, which caused skin abrasions that are believed to have caused a decubitus ulcer (bedsore). The litigation claims that the staff’s inattention to the ulcer led to the infection that later resulted in the leg amputation. As Bryant continued his stay at the hospital, the staff is said to have failed to move and rotate his position for prevention of additional bedsores.

Bryant was also said to have become severely depressed and his condition got worse. Bryant’s family asked the facility to try maggot therapy for treatment of the ulcers, where medical grade maggots eat the harmful tissue; however, the facility refused to provide this treatment. Bryant’s son apparently obtained his own fly larvae and attempted to perform the treatment himself. Short after, the family was not sure where Bryant had been moved to and sought police assistance, but they were directed to speak with the hospital attorney.

The family did not know his whereabouts for roughly a seven day period. It was determined that the facility attempted to place him under the care of the County Department of Social Services deemed as mentality incompetent; however, the request was denied and his family was able to resume visiting him. The family made an arrangement to transfer Bryant to Duke University Hospital, where he initially showed some signs of improvement, yet he died 10 days after.

A separate suit contends that Cape Fear Valley is still a government-owned entity, despite their conversion to private status in 2006. The plaintiffs claim that the hospital is still very much a part of Cumberland County and had not truly switched. If the hospital were still governmentally-owned then Bryant’s records would be public information. The organization’s legal name is alleged to still be the Cumberland County Hospital, and governmental entities are not shielded from governmental immunity in lawsuits when they violate someone’s constitutional rights.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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