A husband and father who lost his wife and his unborn twins may finally have closure now that the Colorado Supreme Court has rejected his case. Though he may not have won, the man said that he would receive closure, simply because the case was finally over. His case involved a wrongful death lawsuit made against Catholic Health Initiatives for the death of his wife and her unborn twins in a Colorado emergency room during 2006.
The case became a high-profile matter when Catholic Health used a legal strategy that conflicted directly with the canon of the organization’s religious affiliation. The man’s wife died of a heart attack at the hospital and the doctor, although on call, never showed up to attempt to save the unborn twins. According to that argument, Catholic Health could not be held liable for the deaths of the unborn twins because fetuses do not have legal rights under Colorado’s Wrongful Death Statute. The media picked up on this, eventually causing the nonprofit healthcare provider to backpedal a bit. But that backpedaling — which included a release that declared solidarity for the man who had lost his family — did not account for much.
The Catholic Health used an argument that has not yet been addressed by any courts — thus the case was taken to the state Supreme Court. But the highest court in Colorado rejected it, neglecting to take care of the hole that the man’s attorney believes is readily apparent. His lawyer went on, stating that many states with similar statutes have addressed this issue and have found that a viable fetus has legal rights, which may be pursued in the case of a wrongful death. Anyone making a case such as this without an attorney may fail outright due to the complex nature of the law, which is why seeking advice from an attorney is a wise choice.
Source: Huffington Post, “Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Catholic Health Case, Punts On Fetal Rights” John Tomasic, May. 06, 2013