Washington Facility Facing a Negligence Lawsuit Following Resident’s Death After Surgery

facing a negligence lawsuit

A Washington facility is facing a negligence lawsuit for the death of a woman following bunion surgery. The victim’s family instituted the action at the end of October in Pierce County Superior Court. 

Court documents showed that 33-year-old JoHanna Pratt passed away from a pulmonary embolism after the surgery in 2017. Before her death, the victim lived at Rainier School, a state facility for adults with developmental disabilities. 

The woman began residing at the facility in 2012 after she began experiencing mild intellectual disability. The school is under the Washington Department of Social Health Services management and operates in Buckley, a small city south of Tacoma. 

The plaintiff alleged that Pratt’s doctors informed the facility’s staff to monitor her for breathing problems, but they failed to do so. Lisa Copeland, the DSHS spokesperson, did not release any comment on the litigation. 

In a statement, Copeland said the agency takes all allegations seriously, and their patients’ safety remains their priority. Pratt’s family representative stated that the victim was utterly dependent on the school, alleging that they caused her death by acting negligently. 

The rep added that the woman’s death was avoidable if the facility followed her doctor’s instructions and must be held accountable for their actions. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified monetary damages. 

In a negligence claim, the victim or the victim’s representatives are likely to get either one of or the three types of damages depending on their claim’s strength. The first is economic damages covering medical bills, funeral expenses, rehabilitation costs, income loss. 

The second is non-economic damages referring to losses that are difficult to calculate, like pain and suffering, loss of support, and mental anguish. The third is punitive damages, mostly awarded for the defendant’s willful negligence. 

If you or someone you know is involved in a negligence lawsuit, contact our experienced mass tort and class action attorneys right away.

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