Widower of nurse killed in crash: Hospital worked wife to death

Nov. 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

CINCINNATI, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- An Ohio man whose wife died in a car crash after working a 12-hour shift is suing the hospital where she was a nurse.

The lawsuit filed last week charges that Beth Jasper was "worked to death" at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, CNN reported Tuesday. Her husband, Jim, said her unit was chronically understaffed and that she was often called in to work because she was qualified to run the dialysis machines.

Beth Jasper, 38, who had two children, died in March when her car struck a tree. Eric Deters, her husband's lawyer, said she may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

"It needs to change. These nurses cannot be treated this way," Jim Jasper told WCPO-TV, a CNN affiliate in Cincinnati. "They can't continue to work these nurses and expect them to pick up the slack because they don't want to staff the hospitals."

Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United, the biggest nursing union in the country, told CNN that "chronic understaffing is rampant." She said it affects patient health as well as the well-being of nurses but that California is the only state with laws on staffing levels.

Mercy Health Group, which owns Jewish Hospital, refused to comment on the lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

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