Woman Freezes to Death in Morgue

California is no stranger to strange stories, weird tales and unusual news and we have found one for the record books. Family and loved ones of Maria de Jesus Arroyo witnesses her body and shared their devastation when she passed in July of 2010. What they found out later, however, was that she may not have been dead at all.

Dr. John J. Posay III pronounced her dead at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was taken to the morgue and placed in a frozen capsule. When the staff and family went to retrieve the body several days later, it was found face down with several injuries. Her nose was broken and there were several lacerations and bruises on her face and body. The horrifying truth is she was not dead, but awoke in the morgue and froze to death before she could escape.

In the beginning, the family sued the hospitals for these injuries, thinking they occurred in negligent handling of the body. The case progressed routinely until midway when a pathologist blew everyone away with the indications that the patient hurt herself attempting to escape her frozen confines. There were signs that pointed to a death of hypothermia and asphyxiation. The lawyer for the Arroyo family stated what an atrocity it is to be declared dead when still alive in this day and age.

The case was immediately dropped and another was filed for medical malpractice and wrongful death. However, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled the one-year statute of limitations had passed, based on Arroyo's date of death, and threw out the suit. Fortunately, the Second District Court of Appeal thought differently. They ruled the legal time clock did not start until the new information was revealed. The trial was returned to court in April of 2014.

The details the jury will have to endure in this care are horrendous. The last moments of life for poor Mrs. Arroyo were horrific, painful and anguishing. While this is an extreme case, any case of medical malpractice is serious. These types of injury cases can change a person’s life forever with life-long debilitating pain, loss of job, wages and income as well as total disruption in the grade of life. Victims must seek legal representation to ensure their best hope of returning to a normal life is maintained.

Remuneration from a medical malpractice trial is often the only way a victim has to set their life back to normal, or as close to normal as possible. Medical malpractice effects every facet of a person’s life; emotional, physical, and financial. It effects relationships and daily life skills.

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