The husband of a Brooklyn grandmother who died of meningitis earlier this year at Coney Island Hospital filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging his wife was misdiagnosed as emotionally disturbed or reacting to an illegal drug, the Daily News reports.
Grisel Soto, 47, reportedly suffered five heart attacks while she was restrained in a hospital bed and injected with tranquilizers. Staff suspected Soto, who arrived at the hospital on January 31 screaming and holding her head, was having a reaction to synthetic marijuana. She died the next morning.
An autopsy released last month backed up the family’s claim that Soto died of bacterial Meningitis and the hospital botched her diagnosis.
The lawsuit alleges Soto was only seen by a nurse and physician’s assistant until she eventually went into cardiac arrest hours later, according to the Daily News.
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who filed the lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court, told the Daily News: “The focus must now be placed on the damages this family is entitled to as a result of her wrongful death.”
Soto’s treatment at Coney Island Hospital has drawn scrutiny from the press and state investigators. The Health Department hit the hospital with six violations, related to the use of restraints, emergency services, and emergency room policies, after looking into the incident.
A shakeup among the hospital’s top executives also immediately followed Soto’s death, though NYC Health + Hospitals, the agency that runs the embattled facility, says the leadership changes are part of a system-wide restructuring.
NYC Health + Hospitals could not comment on pending litigation. However, in a statement, a spokesperson said: “We provide quality, safe and culturally responsive care to thousands of patients and families in the Coney Island community who rely on our essential services regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay. With the new leadership team in place we are committed to positive transformation.”