Court Rules Family of Woman Who Died During DC AIDSRide Can Proceed With Suit Against Event Organizers, Medical Personnel
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday ruled that the family of Eve Jaffe, a woman who died while cycling in the 2000 Washington, D.C., AIDSRide, has the right to sue the charity event's organizers and medical personnel for not detecting her life-threatening condition, the Washington Post reports (Washington Post, 7/20). In August 2003, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that Eve's mother, Rochelle Jaffe, had no legal grounds to sue event organizers or medical personnel. Jaffe filed suit against now-defunct Pallotta TeamWorks and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is operated by University of Maryland Medical System, 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. In her ruling, Collyer 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/13/03). The Court of Appeals on Friday said that the waiver could be considered invalid under state law in Virginia, where Eve received treatment and died (Washington Post, 7/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.