Lake Norman & Mooresville

Case against hospital will go to trial

jmarusak@charlotteobserver.com

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the case of a teenager whose fatal injuries, his family claims, went undetected by medical workers who treated him.

Duncan Christopher Day Jr., 16, was a junior at Mooresville High School when he died. He lost consciousness driving on U.S. 21 near Troutman on Oct. 27, 2003, and his vehicle crossed the center line, struck another vehicle and flipped.

Chris, as family and friends called him, regained consciousness and went to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, where he was examined and sent home that night. The next morning, his father found him unconscious and on his knees, lying across his bed.

He was taken to the hospital's emergency room, where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy showed he died of internal bleeding from cuts to his liver and spleen caused by the wreck.

The family sued the hospital in Iredell County Superior Court, contending staff who treated Chris should have detected the injuries that later killed him.

The hospital replied in a court filing that Chris should have reported worsening symptoms to his family and returned to the hospital.

Ashley Day said she is pleased her son's case is finally coming to trial.

“The mental toll it has taken on me, my ex-husband, my daughter,” Day said from her home in northern Virginia. “Everything we've been through. This has totally devastated us. Finally it's coming to an end.”

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