Chicago hospital let family take stranger off life support, lawsuit claims

Two families have sued Chicago-based Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, claiming the facility allowed strangers to take a patient off life support due to a case of mistaken identity, according to CNN.

In April, police found a man unresponsive with facial injuries and used a mugshot to incorrectly identify him as Alfonso Bennett. Mercy notified Mr. Bennett's sisters of his hospitalization, and they "continually and repeatedly expressed their serious doubts" that he was their brother, according to the lawsuit.

The hospital claimed the sisters did not recognize him due to the facial injuries and suggested taking him off life support, which they did May 23.

The sisters discovered Mr. Bennett was actually alive while planning his funeral service. Authorities later identified the male patient as Elisha Brittman through fingerprint testing.

The families of Mr. Brittman and Mr. Bennett filed the wrongful death suit July 3. The suit names both Mercy hospital and the city of Chicago as defendants, seeking more than $50,000 from each.

Mercy declined CNN's request for comment. A spokesperson for the city of Chicago did not immediately respond to the publication's request.

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