A New York woman is suing a hospital she claims caused her emotional distress after she took the wrong person off life support.
KTLA 5 in Los Angeles reports that Shirell Powell stood vigil over who she believed to be her brother for weeks before doctors said there was nothing left to do. After agreeing to take him off life support, the hospital notified her later the man in the hospital wasn’t her brother.
For nearly two weeks, Shirell Powell stood vigil over her brother’s bedside in a New York hospital, believing there was nothing more doctors could do to save him.
She was told he was brain-dead — the result of a narcotics overdose — so in late July 2018, a grieving Powell gave her permission to take him off life support and her brother was pronounced dead.
A couple of weeks later, Powell was notified that the man she was about to lay to rest was someone with a similar name, Freddy Clarence Williams. Her brother, 40-year-old Frederick Williams, was very much alive.
Powell says she misidentified the man as her brother due to a neck brace Williams was wearing and tubes all over his body. As for the misidentified man, of the same name, no family has come forward to claim him.
Powell is suing St. Barnabas Hospital for negligence and is seeking monetary relief due to suffering “severe emotional harm and injuries” as a result of the hospital’s mistake.