An elderly woman who was mistakenly declared dead froze to death while trying to escape the morgue, a lawsuit claims. 

According to the Huffington Post, 80-year-old Maria de Jesus Arroyo was declared dead by a doctor at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, Calif. after suffering a heart attack in July 2010. Her body was taken to the morgue and placed inside of a refrigerated space as it waited for a mortician to retrieve it. 

However, the lawsuit says that Arroyo woke up inside of the body bag and died trying to fight her way out of the refrigerated compartment. Her body was found facedown instead of faceup, and she had cuts and bruises on her face in addition to a broken nose. 

A medical examiner hired by Scott Schutzman, her family's attorney, determined that the injuries were sustained before she died and that she froze to death inside of the morgue. Schutzman had originally filed a negligence suit on the family's behalf, but withdrew it in favor of a wrongful death suit following the medical examiner's revelation. 

White Memorial Medical Center continues to deny any wrongdoing. 

[via The Huffington Post]

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