Suit Against Hospital for Treating Domestic Abuse Injury

Posted on Dec 26, 2009
Mother Ava Mcswane is suing Bloomington Hospital in Indiana for medical malpractice after her daughter was shot minutes after leaving the hospital with her abusive husband. Mcswane argues that although it was heavily suggested that her daughter, Malia Vandeneede, was seriously injured by her husband, the hospital staff did nothing to protect her from further harm.

In 2002, Vandeneede and her husband Monty Vandeneede came to the emergency room saying that Malia had fallen off of a horse and landed in some brush. Although it was apparent that the injury was caused by domestic abuse, and although her mother told hospital officials that her daughter had in fact been attacked with a fireplace poker, the couple was allowed to leave the hospital together. Just a few blocks down the road, Monty shot his wife and then himself.

In the Indiana medical malpractice case, the nurses argue that they did enough to prevent the woman from leaving with her abusive husband. One pointed out a domestic abuse poster while another told her that she did not have to leave with her husband. Two security guards also gave Monty an alcohol test and searched him for weapons. Police were called and informed of the incident, though they did not respond to the call. Malia’s mother argues that her daughter was not given the opportunity to safely report her attack while separated from her husband, and that the hospital had a duty to protect her daughter since they understood that she had been attacked.
James R. Keller
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