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Woman Takes Stranger Off Life Support

Photo of Imrana Manzanares

Shirell Powell was told her brother, Frederick Williams, had suffered brain damage after he overdosed. She then made the difficult decision to allow doctors to end life support for her brother. However, the staff at St. Barnabas Hospital had confused the man for Mr. Williams, which resulted in a stranger being taken off life support.

According to the suit, on July 15, 2018, Freddy Clarence Williams was admitted to the hospital unconscious, but with identification. He was admitted under Frederick Williams, who was Ms. Powell's brother and who had previously been a patient at St. Barnabas Hospital. After admission, Ms. Powell was called and told her brother had been admitted to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, she observed a man who "resembled my brother so much." The man had tubes in his mouth and a neck brace. According to the suit, Ms. Powell was told the health care providers did not think that Mr. Williams would survive. For almost two weeks, Ms. Powell stayed at the bedside, believing the patient was her brother. Ultimately, the decision was made to withdraw support, and Frederick Williams was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. An autopsy confirmed the decedent was actually Freddy Clarence Williams, and not Frederick Williams. According to New York court records, Frederick Williams had been arrested on July 1, 2018. Ms. Powell has filed suit and alleged, "As a result of the defendants' misinformation and negligent conduct the plaintiff has suffered severe emotional harm and injuries."

When someone is injured or dies due to negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the injured party's right to recover.

Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue a claim for such injuries or fatalities.

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