Family of Ohio nurse killed in crash sues hospital
Written by AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press   
Friday, 08 November 2013 07:29

CINCINNATI (AP) — The family of a southwestern Ohio nurse killed in a car crash earlier this year filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Thursday against the hospital where she worked, alleging that stress and extra hours from short-staffing led to her death.

Beth Jasper, 38, of Stonelick Township, was killed the morning of March 18 as she was driving home after working the night shift at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. Her SUV went airborne before hitting a tree and landing in a parking lot. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jasper worked in the hospital's bone marrow transplant unit. The family's attorney, Eric Deters, said in a statement that the hospital "worked Beth Jasper to death." The family lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County court, accuses the hospital and its operator, Mercy Health Partners of Southwest Ohio, of causing Jasper's death by failing to address short staffing.

"Our hearts go out to the family," hospital spokeswoman Nanette Bentley said. But Bentley declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Jasper's working hours "routinely and significantly" exceeded her 12-hour shifts at the hospital, and on the day she died, Jasper complained to other nurses that she was "really stressed" and hadn't eaten during a busy shift, the suit says.

Nurses routinely had to work through breaks, work extra shifts, stay late, and effectively were "forced to choose between temporarily abandoning helpless patients in order to take bathroom breaks, or simply continuing the shift without using the restroom," the suit says.

The hospital was notified of conditions that lessened the quality of care to patients and the working conditions of nurses, "but willfully and deliberately ignored these warnings," according to the lawsuit.

The family is seeking unspecified damages. Jasper was married and had a 6-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.

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Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP


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