Family member alleges medical facility's negligence caused death

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | May 15, 2018

CLEARWATER — A family member is suing a St. Petersburg medical facility, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and wrongful death.

Thelma L. Mells-Ferguson, as personal representative of Freddie Lee Mells, filed a complaint May 2 in Pinellas Circuit Court against Morningstar Assisted Living LLC, Laura D. Goicu and Jessica Hansen, alleging they failed to exercise standard care and skill required of medical providers and facilities.

According to the complaint, Freddie Lee Mells was a patient at Morningstar for extended stays in 2016. The suit says Mells suffered bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, medical expenses and aggravation of a previously existing condition due to the negligence of the defendants in providing professional standard of care and treatment. The lawsuit states this treatment ultimately caused Mells death Dec. 23, 2016.  

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to properly monitor changes, signs and symptoms in Mells, failed to ensure staff were properly supervised and trained, and failed to ensure an adequate response to changes in physical signs and symptoms of the decedent.

Mells-Ferguson seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $15,000, disgorgement of profits, consequential damages, attorney fees and court costs, interest and all other relief the court deems appropriate. She is represented by attorney Donna K. Hanes of Wilkes & McHugh PA in St. Petersburg.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-CA-2837

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