An 86-year-old woman who broke coronavirus social distancing guidelines and grabbed onto another patient’s IV pole in the emergency room was shoved, fell to the floor, hit her head and later died.
Janie Marshall, broke the recommended six-foot space between herself and patient Cassandra Lundy, 32, when she grabbed Lundy’s IV pole to get her balance at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn on March 28.
While speaking with CNN the family said Marshall had dementia.
Lundy was initially given a summons by the hospital police for disorderly conduct, according to the Times, but after the medical examiner ruled Marshall’s death a homicide, Lundy was arrested and charged with manslaughter and assault on April 2, the New York City Police Department said.
Lundy faces charges of manslaughter in the first and second degree, assault in the second degree, and criminally negligent homicide, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Woodhull Hospital said they are working with the NYPD on the investigation.
“We are terribly saddened by this death. We are committed to ensuring a safe, health-focused environment in these very demanding times so our heroic health care workers can continue to deliver the quality, compassionate care New Yorkers need more than ever,” the hospital said in a statement.
Marshall’s grandniece, told CNN that Marshall had been admitted to the ER on March 27 after experiencing stomach pains related to a bowel obstruction. She said the hospital has not been communicative in providing details on how Marshall died. Instead, she has been relying on local news reports to get more information on the altercation.
The hospital had cited the health privacy law HIPAA as to why they could not give more information, even though her mother and Marshall’s niece, Eleanor Leonard, was listed as her next of kin, Charles said.
Though Charles only knows as much as what’s in the police report, she speculated that because Marshall had dementia, she may not have understood her surroundings, so she wandered around, eventually running into Lundy amid the chaos of the ER that night.
As the hospitals in New York City and across the country grapple with surging coronavirus-related hospitalizations, Charles stressed that violence in uncertain times will never change anything.