Mall of America

Published on Monday, February 11, 2019

Holland America faces lawsuit from family of stroke victim

The family of an Illinois woman is suing Holland America saying she suffered unnecessary lasting damage due to the line's refusal to airlift her to a medical facility.

Lila Graciela Kohn Gale suffered a stroke on the ship and is now confined to a nursing home.

The lawsuit filed by her son claims there was a 15-hour delay in receiving adequate treatment.

According to the suit, Mrs Gale was diagnosed with 'severe stroke' by senior doctor on Holland America's MS Zuiderdam and recommended a CT scan and to see a neurologist.

The doctor noted that her condition was deteriorating.

MS Zuiderdam was only about 100 miles from the US coastline at the time.

Instead of an airlift she was put on a tug boat to a hospital in Freeport, Bahamas, which didn't have a neurosurgery department or a working CT scan, it alleges.

"Any reasonably prudent healthcare provider in Dr. Socrates Lopez's position would have known that a medical air-evacuation to a comprehensive stroke center was medically necessary," the suit stated.

The doctor in the Bahamas said she needed to be transferred to a stroke centre but by this time the airport was closed.

It would then take another 12 hours before she reached Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The delay allegedly caused a worsening condition to go untreated which led to permanent damage.

"They had a duty to tend to her, and by not doing so, they added to her damage," said husband John Gale.

HAL declined to make a public comment 'out of respect for the family involved.'


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