Overworked Nurse Dies After Falling Asleep at Wheel
Is Understaffed Hospital Responsible?
On May 16, 2013, Beth Jasper never made it home from the hospital where she worked as a nurse. Following her 12-hour shift, the fatigued 38-year-old died in a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel on her drive home.
Beth's husband, Jim Jasper, believes that his wife was "worked to death" by the hospital in Ohio where she was employed. He is now filing a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the hospital responsible for his wife's death.
The lawsuit alleges that from 2011 until the time of her death, Beth Jasper's unit at the hospital was "regularly understaffed." Multiple nurses, Jasper included, frequently worked through breaks, stayed for additional shifts, and were called into work while off duty.
The lawsuit also states that hospital employees, and the hospital's parent company, were aware of staffing shortages prior to Beth Jasper's death. Even Beth's own supervisor reportedly expressed concern to superiors that Beth was being "worked to death," however the hospital did nothing to correct the issue.
Beth's husband seeks justice for his wife's tragic death, and he hopes to change the working conditions for nurses in the future. Nurses throughout the country frequently face staff shortages and overextended shifts as healthcare companies choose saving money over hiring enough employees.
Source: “Lawsuit: Ohio nurse was 'worked to death.'" Cnn.com. November 13, 2013.