The Antone Case
Ms. Antone was an elderly sick woman who was under the care of a doctor who permitted her to stay home with the understanding that she would receive oxygen deliveries sent to her home by a local oxygen supply company, A Oxygen Delivery.
A Oxygen Delivery had set up a schedule for Ms. Antone and signed a contract with her, agreeing to provide her with life-sustaining oxygen for her medical needs.
A Oxygen Delivery had a delivery driver who provided Ms. Antone with 4 bottles of oxygen, which should have lasted her two (2) days until the next delivery by A Oxygen Delivery.
On this particular Friday, A Oxygen Delivery came and delivered oxygen tanks to Ms. Antone, one of which she used immediately. However, by Sunday, her oxygen tanks ran low and Ms. Antone’s sons became very concerned and called A Oxygen to inquire about an additional delivery since she would run out before the weekend. Four calls were made between the sons and A Oxygen Delivery about the need for additional oxygen for Ms. Antone. Finally, a representative from A Oxygen Delivery told the sons that there were no delivery drivers available, and that Ms. Antone should have enough oxygen if she would turn on her emergency oxygen tank, providing her with enough oxygen until Monday when the A Oxygen Delivery man arrived with additional tanks.
The sons followed their directions, and early on Monday morning, Ms. Antone still had some oxygen, and was waiting for the delivery man. Her son had to go to work, and Ms. Antone stated that she would be fine. However, after a few hours, an uncle stopped in to check on Ms. Antone, and he noted that the oxygen tanks were empty, and unfortunately, Ms. Antone had passed away.
A lawsuit was brought against A Oxygen Delivery for failure to abide by their contract terms and for failing to provide oxygen to Ms. Antone on time. Also, it was alleged that because A Oxygen Delivery was in the healthcare delivery business, that they had a duty to the patient to ensure that the patient did not die from oxygen deprivation, such as Ms. Antone did.
A Oxygen Delivery’s defense was that Ms. Antone was a sick woman. However, after a complaint was filed and discovery was undertaken, the case settled for a substantial sum.