Family claims hospital's staff shortage responsible for fatal crash - page 2

by DidiRN Asst. Admin

CINCINNATI —The family of a Jewish Hospital nurse who died in a crash in March says the hospital is to blame for her death. Elizabeth Jasper, 38, was killed in March when her sport utility vehicle ran off U.S. 50 and hit a tree... Read More


  1. 4
    It's probably par for the course for an employer to cancel a deceased employee's insurance but it will appear callous to the jury.
    dudette10, SE_BSN_RN, Altra, and 1 other like this.
  2. 3
    I hope the family wins, especially when they were so callous to cancel her health insurance like that! It might make a difference and hospitals may make more of an effort to hire more staff in the wake of this lawsuit and all the bad publicity. I have heard of nurses dying after working night shift from falling asleep, but never knew of one personally. I'm a night person and live close to work so I've never had any problems driving, but I know coworkers that have trouble with falling asleep, even that nap at work at times or get home and end up sleeping in the car because they are too tired to get out of the car! If I'm mandated to 16 hours you can bet I won't be coming in that night! I also make sure I get enough sleep, take that very seriously, some night shift people skip sleep and that can be dangerous! I knew a nurse that lived on 3-4 hours of sleep and that is just not safe, also bad for your health. Too many nurses allow themselves to be overworked because they don't want to let anyone down and live to please others. Just say no! You are not required to work above your FTE and if you are mandated you can refuse and if forced then at least call in that night! We've been short staffed and amazingly people are actually refusing to be mandated. Guess what mgmt finds someone else to staff the floor! The world doesn't end and proper arrangements are made! Stand up for yourself; your life and safety may be at stake!

    PS I just looked it up on AARP and they said the spouse and family should still qualify for COBRA even though she died so I think the hospital is at fault for cancelling her insurance like that!
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Nov 8, '13
    nrsang97, prnqday, and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.
  3. 4
    So tragic and sad. . .and completely unnecessary. We have all seen the studies about how when people are sleep deprived they function at the same level or even BELOW the level of people who have a BAC over the legal limit. I had a family member who worked overnight in a cardiac cath lab back in the late 80s. The lab was new to that hospital and the doc really wanted to get it up and rolling so he had her working ALL THE TIME. She used to be so worried about driving home when she was exhausted. There were these rubber strip type of things on the freeway at that time, every however many yards. She said she was driving home one night and the rhythmic thump--thump--thump made her start to fall asleep. She was lucky enough that her husband was could pick her up in the AM after that. When she told me that story I thought it was just crazy that someone who spent all night ripping people back from the brink of death had to risk her life just to get home. What's it gonna take? I feel so terrible for her family.
    prnqday, JesusKeepMe, SE_BSN_RN, and 1 other like this.
  4. 3
    While sad, it isnt the hospitals fault she crashed.
  5. 3
    The comments posted under that article are infuriating! People are acting like that woman knew what she was getting into becoming a nurse, and she should have been more responsible. If a hospital decides to open a specialized unit like that, it is management's responsibility to make sure it is staffed adequately. If there is not enough staff to make sure both the patients AND the employees are safe, then they aren't prepared to have that unit open. If there's not enough money to hire more nurses, then they don't have the budget to keep that unit open.

    I doubt the family will get any sort of financial settlement, and I'm sure they know that. Their real goal might be to raise a little bit of awareness concerning nursing staffing issues, and maybe prevent similar tragedies in the future.
    nrsang97, morte, and JesusKeepMe like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from Tagg
    In the complaint, the family claims that the hospital cancelled her (their?) insurance coverage the day after she died.
    I'll bet they did....she is no longer employed.
    friggasdistaff and Guttercat like this.
  7. 1
    I don't understand the significance of cancelling her policy after her death. That doesn't mean that the life insurance won't pay out. It was still in effect on the day she died, and her family will still receive her life insurance.
    elkpark likes this.
  8. 2
    It's not common to keep an insurance policy in effect if the beneficiary dies. If it was a family policy cobra notices would get sent out.
    elkpark and friggasdistaff like this.
  9. 5
    Life is full of hard choices. We CHOOSE to work nights. We CHOOSE to go to work, even though it's killing us, or stressing us out. We CHOOSE not to eat, or drink, or pee, during any 12 hr shift. We CHOOSE to stay at a job that doesn't value us.

    I believe in personal responsibility. Firmly. But I also recognize that when we're stessed, exhausted, and overworked, we don't always make the smartest choices. I also recognize that when there are two choices, work at a bad facility/or go bankrupt, most of us choose the less evil. Whatever that is.

    I could be that nurse any THREE mornings of the week, but that's a choice I make. Because her family could be mine any three mornings of the week, I'm sorry for their loss.
    Last edit by imintrouble on Nov 9, '13
    prnqday, elkpark, friggasdistaff, and 2 others like this.
  10. 1
    This is very tragic. I hope all my night shift colleagues will truly take this to heart. I only have a 15 minute commute to work, but there are other nurses I work with at night that drive an hour or more home. Please all of you who drive a long distance pull over when you are getting drowsy, your life depends on it.

    We need to learn to say NO when asked to pull OT shifts if we are too tired or stressed to do it safely! If you don't look out for yourself nobody else will either.
    JesusKeepMe likes this.


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