Suit: Hurricanes are no excuse for not adhering to medical standards

David Yates Dec. 20, 2007, 3:00am

Death usually follows the confusion and chaos that hurricanes cause. More than two years after Rita, Christene Denison has filed a wrongful death suit against Pinehurst Nursing and Rehabilitation and Daybreak Venture, claiming the companies failed to provide medical care to her mother during the storm.

On behalf of Dena Cox, Denison filed her suit with the Orange County District Court on Nov. 29.

According to her petition, on Sept. 16 Cox sought medical treatment from Pinehurst and Daybreak. "On Sept. 22 Defendants evacuated Cox…without providing appropriate medical care."

"As a result of defendants' negligence, Cox…died," the suit said.

Cox was 82 years of age when she passed away.

The suit argues that both Pinehurst and Daybreak allegedly failed to conform to the requisite standard of reasonable medical care as the hurricane approached.

The suit also says Denison was denied any future savings her mother would have accumulated if she had lived.

Denison is suing for wrongful death damages and pecuniary loss, plus Cox's medical expenses, mental anguish and funeral expenses.

She is represented by Brian Sutton of the Sutton & Jacobs law firm.

According to the company's Web site, Pinehurst Nursing and Rehabilitation, serving Orange County since September 24, 1964, is licensed to serve 111 residents.

"The facility is certified to accept Medicare and Medicaid, Private Pay and Insurance. Our Facility is an important part of Orange History and an active community participant. It was the first facility to offer skilled care, Medicare and Veterans services," the Web site said.

The case has been assigned to the 128th Judicial District.

Case No. A070661-c

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