Miller CD. Motion passes in June of 2006! Dr. Neuman is precluded from testifying that the prone position is “physiologically neutral” because the Chan et al studies’ findings are “irrelevant” to real life situations.
On August 8th, 2006, I received an Email from Joseph McManus, a Hartford, Connecticut attorney. He reported having recently won a civil suit jury trial involving the in-hospital restraint asphyxia death of Mrs. Debbora Bogazis.
During the course of trial, we also won a victory that may be more interesting to you namely, I was able to convince the judge to preclude Dr. Neuman from testifying that the prone position is “physiologically neutral” on the basis that his studies are irrelevant. I am told that this was the first time that he was so-precluded.
Happily, Mr. McManus volunteered to send me the motion he wrote to accomplish this landmark action, so that it could be shared with others.
Before providing a link to that document, I’m inserting a brief news article found when I GOOGLED “Debbora Bogazis,” followed by some background information.
August 04, 2006
Hospital Loses $1.2 Million Judgment In Woman's Death
NEW BRITAIN A man who sued Bristol Hospital in 2003 claiming his wife died when emergency room staff ignored signs that she was suffocating was awarded $1.2 million in damages Thursday.
A jury in Superior Court found in favor of Jeffrey Bogazis, whose wife, Debbora Bogazis died in November 2001. He sued the hospital in 2003, saying the emergency room staff restrained her in a dangerous position and mistakenly assumed she was holding her breath on purpose.
“Hopefully this case will save more lives,” Vincent DeAngelo, Bogazis' lawyer, said in a statement.
Debbora Bogazis, was taken to the hospital Nov. 13, 2001, after a friend became concerned about her behavior and asked police to check on her.
She was taken to the emergency room, where Bogazis was screaming and thrashing. Six hospital staff members restrained her in a prone position, according to the lawsuit. A nurse noticed Bogazis was holding her breath and encouraged her to breathe.
Bogazis was declared dead an hour and a half after arriving at the hospital. Staff tried unsuccessfully to revive her.
The lawsuit says medical staff restrained her in a dangerous position and misrepresented her “breath-hold” as deliberate when it signaled the beginning of respiratory distress.
HILDA MUÑOZ, Courant Staff Writer
$1.2 Million in Damages.
Clearly, the Bogazis case should help to make people sit up and realize that,
Prone Restraint is LETHAL … And, it will “COST YOU” IF YOU KEEP USING IT!
Some Background Information
The Case Title:
BOGAZIS, JEFFREY, ET AL v. BRISTOL HOSPITAL, INC., ET AL:
SUPERIOR COURT, J.D. OF NEW BRITAIN, AT NEW BRITAIN,
DOCKET NO.: CV-03-0519859 S
The Linked Document is an “in limine” Motion.
in limine (in limb-in-ay) from Latin for "at the threshold," referring to a motion before a trial begins. A motion to suppress illegally-obtained evidence is such a motion.
Motion in limine (Latin: "at the outset") is a motion, raised before or during trial, to exclude the presentation of certain evidence to the jury. If a question is to be decided in limine, it will be for the judge to decide. Usually it is used to shield the jury from possibly inadmissible and harmful evidence.
The following two excerpts from the motion are, in my opinion,
very important. [My underline within the excerpts.]:
Under State v. Porter, any testimony that Debbora Bogazis did not suffer an asphyxial death that is based on these studies must be precluded for three reasons:
(1) Dr. Neuman’s studies were conducted solely for litigation purposes;
(2) the anticipated testimony does not satisfy the relevancy requirement
of the Porter analysis; and
(3) any testimony regarding Dr. Neuman’s studies would
mislead the jury and confuse the issues.
Therefore, the anticipated testimony of the Defendant’s experts does not meet the threshold requirements for admissibility under Connecticut law.
In reality, the scientific facts are undisputed. They can be boiled down to the following maxim: the immobilization of the bellows can result in an asphyxial death. The Defendants simply disagree that Debbora Bogazis died an asphyxial death. The Defendant has the right to present expert testimony that Debbora Bogazis died as a result of a heart condition. It has the right to argue that the facts that:
(1) she was struggling in the prone restraint for forty minutes prior to her arrest, and
(2) that the arrest occurred shortly after she was re-restrained so that she could not move her chest are just coincidental.
It does not have the right to present a straw man argument to this Court in an attempt to sabotage the Plaintiff’s case, and it does not have the right to present irrelevant evidence to the jury in order to muddy the waters.
On behalf of everyone fighting to stop restraint asphyxia deaths,
I heartily thank Mr. McManus for his important contribution,
both to the Library and to the fight.
SINCERELY YOURS, CHAS
(Ms. Charly D. Miller)
I’ve posted this document in PDF file format.
If you don’t have an Adobe Acrobat PDF file program, you can download a FREE version HERE.