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Maryland Man Sues Hospital Following Altercation with Security Guards

On June 23, Joseph Wheeler was involved in a car accident and rushed to Maryland's Prince George's Hospital. After waking up in a hospital bed, he was able to flag down a nurse to inquire about food. At this point, he was informed that he was not allowed to eat due to an upcoming surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his chest.

Panicked, Wheeler attempted to explain that they had the wrong guy. After the nurse left, Wheeler checked his patient ID bracelet and found that hospital staff had misplaced him. Somehow he had been mistakenly identified as a woman 13 years his senior.

Suffering from serious injuries sustained in the car crash, but unable to convince hospital staff that he was not supposed to undergo surgery, Wheeler tried to leave the hospital.

At that point, nurses called hospital security and things, supposedly, got rather ugly. Wheeler claims that one of the security officers grabbed him and threw him against the wall. When he fell down, another officer swore at him and demanded he stand up.

Finally, Wheeler and his wife were able to clear up his identity and get him to the right area of the hospital where he was found to have broken ribs, a sprained shoulder, concussion and ruptured spleen.

He is suing the hospital for $3.6 million in compensatory damages and nearly $11 million in punitive damages stemming from "assault and battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress."

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