Sykes v. Calhoun Health ServicesAnnotate this Case
After John Sykes died in the emergency room at Calhoun Health Services, his estate sued the hospital for wrongful death, claiming that Mr. Sykes should have been hooked up to a cardiac monitor. Mr. Sykes was admitted after complaining of chest pains. He did not appear to be in distress, was not short of breath and was not sweating. He denied having any other symptoms. Mr. Sykes would later be diagnosed with "severe cardiomegaly" and died of "sudden cardiac death" related to "severe. . . hypertensive heart disease." The trial judge held that the estate failed to prove that the hospital had deviated from an applicable standard of care, and failed to prove that use of the cardiac monitor would have made a difference for Mr. Sykes' care. The Supreme Court found that all of the estate's issues concerned factual determinations that were within the discretion of the trial court. The Court affirmed the trial court's judgment.