Riverside County Settles Suit Over Death in Hospital

<i> Associated Press</i>

Riverside County has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by relatives of a woman who died the night members of Riverside General Hospital’s emergency room staff were overcome by mysterious fumes.

The family of Gloria Ramirez sued the hospital and county officials, charging that doctors did not treat her correctly the night she died. They also contend that hospital officials failed to notify her in 1991 that a Pap smear showed she was developing cancer.

Ramirez, 31, died Feb. 19, 1994, of kidney failure brought on by cancer, the coroner’s office found. That night, at least 22 hospital emergency workers fell ill from inhaling fumes after doctors began caring for Ramirez.

The source of the fumes was never determined.


Riverside County Superior Court Judge Richard Van Frank must still approve the settlement, which he is expected to receive Monday.

County health officials did not admit any wrongdoing. The county agreed to the settlement in part to avoid stirring up allegations about safety hazards at the hospital, said Peter Osinoff, an attorney for the county.