Hospital Misplaces Wife's Corpse; Cleaning Lady Helps Husband Find It In Storage Area
Hospital Misplaced Corpse
Bentonville, Arkansas -- When Tony Dawson's bride of 18 years died, a hospital misplaced her body for two days, Dawson claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Benton County Circuit Court.
Carolyn Daisy Dawson fell and injured her back Dec. 3, 2004, and was treated and released from a Washington County hospital, according to the suit filed by attorney Stephen L. Taylor of Springdale.
Carolyn Dawson died at home that night in her sleep. An ambulance took her to St. Mary's Hospital in Rogers.
Tony Dawson and his wife's family asked Sisco Funeral Home in Pea Ridge to collect the woman's remains. A coroner paged Sisco that afternoon, saying Carolyn Dawson's body was ready for pickup at the hospital, according to the suit.
Sisco was then told by a hospital employee that the hospital didn't have any record of Dawson being there and didn't know where her body was.
Funeral home employees and family members called the hospital throughout the next two days. On Dec. 6, Tony Dawson went with a friend to the emergency room. He was again told they didn't know where his wife's body was.
Then a cleaning lady appeared and said she knew where the body was -- in a storage area -- but that it was in poor condition. She took them upstairs, lifted a lid on a table and asked him, "Is that her?" the suit states.
Tony Dawson could only identify his wife by her nightgown because her body was bloated and decaying, according to the suit. Tubes were still attached to her body.
The suit claims tort of outrage, negligence and wrongful interference with right to bury, and it seeks proximate damages. It was assigned to Circuit Judge Xollie Duncan.
A message left Wednesday afternoon with the media representative of St. Mary's Hospital was not immediately returned.
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