When someone files a lawsuit alleging physical or emotional abuse, they can often find the legal process to be retraumatizing. They are forced to relive the incident(s) that hurt them over and over again, first when hiring a lawyer, then in deposition, then again in court. It’s not an easy process, and it’s a big reason that many victims never pursue legal action. It’s also a big reason many of those who do file never pursue it all the way to court.
Moss Gropen is one such victim who alleges he was abused and neglected by Palomar Medical Center. According to the lawsuit, Gropen went to the hospital for a scheduled procedure to remove fluid from the area surrounding his lungs. Instead, he claims he was admitted to the emergency room where doctors inserted a chest tube, then put him in a windowless room and left him alone with substandard nutrition. Gropen alleges he suffered from uncontrollable sobbing and anxiety, which resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from which he says he continues to suffer.
Gropen is suing the hospital along with several of its doctors and employees for causing his PTSD. When he appeared at the offices of the hospital’s lawyers in July to provide his deposition, his wife came with him to provide emotional support during what was bound to be a challenging time for Gropen.
The lawyers immediately objected to the presence of Gropen’s wife at the deposition because she is a witness in the lawsuit. Having Gropen’s wife present while he provides his deposition could lead to the two of them colluding on their testimony. Gropen refused to provide testimony without his wife present and ended up leaving the office without providing testimony. Continue reading ›