February 7, 2009
Tort Claim Against Hospital for Denial of Visitation for Dying Same-Sex Partner
The Miami Herald reports that a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida will decide whether the tort case against a Miami hospital for failure to allow visitation to a same-sex parent could proceed to trial. The surviving woman, Janice Langbehn, is from Washington state and was on a cruise with her partner of seventeen years, and their three adopted children, when the now-deceased woman had a heart attack. The hospital refused visitation for over eight hours; Langbehn was allowed to see her partner receive last rites. A copy of the complaint in pdf is here; more information is available on the Lambda website here.
The tort suit brings Florida's "little DOMA" legislation into sharp relief - - - Florida has both a statute and a constitutional amendment defining marriage as limited to one man and one woman.
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