A federal court in Florida has dismissed Lambda Legal’s lawsuit brought on behalf of a lesbian couple that was kept apart by a Miami hospital after one of the women suffered a brain aneurysm during an R Family cruise. She died alone even though her partner provided the hospital with documents proving she was legally entitled to make healthcare decisions. Via Lambda Legal’s press release:
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida today rejected Lambda Legal’s lawsuit filed against Jackson Memorial Hospital on behalf of Janice Langbehn, the Estate of Lisa Pond and their three adopted children who were kept apart by hospital staff for eight hours as Lisa slipped into a coma and died. “The court’s decision paints a tragically stark picture of how vulnerable same-sex couples and their families really are during times of crisis,” said Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. “We hope that because of Janice’s courage to seek justice for her family in this case that more people better understand the costs of antigay discrimination. This should never happen to anyone.”
The dismissal came after Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital filed a motion arguing that they had no obligation to allow anyone into their trauma unit (even though that is commonly allowed for the families of the grievously ill).