NY woman sues hospitals after pronouncing her husband dead twice: suit

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Monroe woman is suing two hospitals in Buffalo after her husband was erroneously pronounced dead and failed to save him, according to a lawsuit.

Michael E. Cleveland was initially declared deceased by doctors after he suffered a heart attack while shopping at a grocery store with teenage son in Tonawanda, New York, but showed signs of life when a coroner entered his hospital room, his widow Tammy claims in a lawsuit.

The doctor reassured her and her family that he was in fact dead and had “a lot of energy to expel from his body,” until almost two hours later when he entered the room a fourth time, and he found Mr. Cleveland’s pulse, the lawsuit says.

The suit details Cleveland was taken to another Buffalo hospital overnight for further care but died later in the morning due to a collapsed lung, not by the health repercussions caused by the earlier heart attack.

The case alleges a doctor at the second hospital told Mrs. Cleveland her husband may have survived if his impaired lung had been treated sooner.

“I wonder if he’s having nightmares like I am,” Tammy told the Democrat and Chronicle. “He’s got to have some kind of conscience.”

The family is seeking damages from both doctors and hospitals, according to the court documents.

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