Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Washington, D.C., AIDS Ride Death
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled that the family of Eve Jaffe, a woman who died during the June 2000 Washington, D.C., AIDSRide, has no legal grounds to sue event organizers or medical personnel, the Washington Post reports. Eve's mother Rochelle Jaffe filed suit against now-defunct Pallotta TeamWorks and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is operated by University of Maryland Medical System Inc., claiming that the companies had failed to properly diagnose and treat Eve after she complained of dizziness and nausea during the ride. The hospital said that Eve suffered from a brain hemorrhage, but her family contends that she died from a heart attack. Jaffe initially filed the suit against Pallotta in May 2002, asking for $10 million in damages for the organization's alleged negligence in handling Eve's care. In February 2003, Jaffe added the University of Maryland Medical System to the suit. Collyer in her ruling -- which was released over the weekend -- said that some of the suit's claims were invalid because the suit was not filed within Virginia's statute of limitations and that the remaining allegations were barred because of a voluntary waiver that Eve signed before participating in the event. Both Jaffe and her attorney, as well as Pallotta's attorney, declined to comment on the case, the Post reports. About 1,600 riders participated in the June 2000 four-day, 330-mile bicycle ride from Raleigh, N.C., to Washington, D.C., and raised $5 million for local AIDS charities (Leonnig, Washington Post, 8/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.