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Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Woman Allegedly Frozen to Death by Hospital

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The family of Maria de Jesus Arroyo can proceed with their claim that the 80-year-old woman was frozen to death in a hospital morgue after being prematurely declared dead.

In 2010, Arroyo suffered a heart attack and was placed in a freezer at the Boyle Heights Hospital.  When morticians received her body, the woman had a broken nose and disfiguring cuts and bruises on her face.  A pathologist concluded Arroyo “had been frozen alive, ‘eventually woke up’ and caused the injuries herself during a failed struggle to escape her ‘frozen tomb.’”

The Los Angeles County Superior Court threw out the family’s medical malpractice lawsuit because it was filed past the one-year statute of limitations, but the appellate court overturned the ruling, saying the family had “absolutely no reason” to suspect Arroyo was alive until they heard the pathologist’s expert opinion. 

See Los Angeles Family Says Woman Was Frozen to Death by Hospital, Fox News, Apr. 3, 2014.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2014/04/woman-frozen-to-death-by-hospital.html

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