Dawson family attorneys plan to file lawsuit against hospital and police department

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CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS DESK) - A Bristol woman who went to the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital to seek treatment died after being forcibly removed by police.

Her attorneys plan to file a lawsuit against the hospital and local police department. They're blaming her death on those who removed her.

The family and their attorneys believe 57-year-old Barbara Dawson would still be alive today if it weren't for the staff at the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital and Blountstown Police Department.

"Both the hospital and the police department have exhibited a deliberate indifference to the rights of Barbara Dawson," Daryl Parks, the Dawson family attorney, said.

Parks and the Parks and Crump Law Firm have taken the case after Dawson died Monday. She had complained about stomach pain over the weekend and was admitted to the hospital Sunday night. She was discharged but said she still needed treatment early Monday morning.

"Both the hospital personnel and the police department totally overreacted to a person who was obviously in medical distress by putting her in handcuffs, by walking her out to the car, by disconnecting her from the oxygen that she needed medically," Parks said.

The hospital is located about one hour west of Tallahassee and serves around 1,200 patients each month. Calhoun-Liberty Hospital CEO Ruth Attaway says the incident is getting a full review.

"Based on the information from the Medical Examiner's Office, Ms. Dawson passed away due to a blood clot," Attaway said.

Dawson had been a frequent visitor of the hospital and had reportedly been in conflicts with staff before. Attaway doesn't know the exact details surrounding Dawson's death yet.

"We can generally say that the only time that a patient is asked to leave is whenever we are concerned over our other patients care," Attaway said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation. Attaway says her hospital will cooperate.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told NewsChannel 7 the hospital was in the process of installing a new camera system at the time of Dawson's death, so they have no surveillance video on record.