It was a disgraceful incident that never should happen in a hospital--but it did. In June 2008, 49-year-old Esmin Elizabeth Green died on the floor of the psychiatric ward at Kings County Hospital Center, ignored by staff, after waiting more than 24 hours to be treated.
Now, the city of New York has agreed to pay $2 million to Green's family, with the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation accepting full responsibility for her death. The agreement follows a 2007 suit by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which alleged abuse and neglect of patients at the hospital.
HHC said that since Green's death, it has taken steps to reduce crowding at the unit and increased the size of its mental health staff. The hospital system has started construction of a new Behavioral Health Pavilion, added more than 200 doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other mental health workers, and restructured operations to rely less on police to manage patients in crisis.
To learn more about the case:
- read this article from The New York Times
NY woman dies on floor of public hospital
Daughter of woman who died in NY waiting room sues for $25M