RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - A Sampson County family has filed a lawsuit saying their father died after being mistreated at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville.
They say they have been fighting to get their father's medical records from the facility, but the hospital will not hand them over.
They took their argument before a judge on Thursday, requesting a restraining order. This would order the hospital not to manipulate or destroy any documents, and require them to turn everything over to the family.
The Bryant family did not want to talk on camera but the lawsuit says their 67-year-old father fell and hurt his leg in October 2016.
The lawsuit says the hospital put him in a leg brace but didn't take care of it and eventually their father developed pressure ulcers, or bedsores, so severe that his bones were exposed.
Cape Fear Valley eventually had to amputate his leg, the lawsuit says.
It goes on to say that after this, their father continued to be mistreated. It says they didn't rotate him in bed, and he developed fist-size bed sores. It says he was often left sitting in his own feces.
According to the lawsuit, the family went to go visit their father later in January but found someone else in his bed. They say the hospital would not tell them where their father was or if he was even alive.
In court, the hospital's attorney argued they did this for the father's safety and for the safety of others. The attorney says the family had secretly brought in medical-grade maggots to try and treat their father's injuries themselves, which is not a hospital-approved treatment method.
The lawsuit says after seven days, the Bryant family eventually found out their father was moved to Duke University hospital where he later died.
The family's attorneys argue they may have a mistreatment case but they don't know the extent until they can look at the medical records. They told the judge the hospital has withheld certain records from them things like police records and memos. They believe they are trying to cover up their mistreatment of Bryant.
The hospital's attorney argued that some of the documents in question are not "medical records" and that they have handed over every "medical record" they have.
The judge ended the hearing saying he would hold judgement. He said that he wants to see all of the documents first and will decide if anything has been withheld.
Neither party would comment on the case.
Cape Fear Valley hospital issued a statement saying:
"Due to patient confidentiality and privacy issues, we prefer not to comment on specific allegations and lawsuits.
I can assure you that the 7,000 skilled professionals at Cape Fear Valley Health are committed to providing exceptional and compassionate care to all patients.
Our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals are unified in the belief that every moment matters. And we are proud to care for the communities we serve."
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