Woman Sues Hospital, Says 8-Hour ER Wait Killed Husband

An Arizona woman is suing a hospital over her husband's death, which happened after an eight-hour wait in the emergency room, the Arizona Daily Star reported Monday.

Rachel Sweitzer filed a lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court against St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson.

In her suit, Sweitzer claims negligence and reckless disregard by hospital staff led to the Feb. 10 death of her husband, Robert Sweitzer, 39. St. Mary's Hospital has filed court documents denying negligence or wrongdoing, the newspaper reported.

Robert Sweitzer went to the ER Feb. 9 because he thought he was coming down with a cold, and was experiencing symptoms of coughing, loss of energy and severe back pain. According to the report, the ER was crowded because it was the start of Tucson's severe flu outbreak.

Rachel Sweitzer says her husband was given a preliminary assessment at 7 p.m. and was never reassessed over the next eight hours.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Robert Sweitzer died at St. Mary's of necrotizing pneumonia, which was caused by the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus. The medical examiner said it appeared it was the methicillin-resistant form of staph or MRSA that caused Robert Sweitzer's pneumonia.

Click here for more on this story from the Arizona Daily Star.