Wrongful Death Suit

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Evelyn Zagal was two and a half when she died in her crib in Rockford in May of last year. Her parents say her nurse and the company she worked for are responsible for the toddler's death.
The family initially filed suit in Cook County where the company is based, but a judge has just moved the case to Winnebago County because the defendents and the nurse live here.
Zagal had large growths on her neck and head that restricted her breathing and she relied on a tube to help her breath. The night she died the, tube came out of her neck and her family says the nurse, Edna Briggs-Gunther, failed to replace it before the toddler suffocated.
"I let Edna come into my home and I trusted her because a nurse isn't supposed to do that, this is not supposed to happen," says Evelyn's mother Teresa Zagal.
Briggs-Gunther was reprimanded after the case and, according to court documents, she signed a consent admitting she failed to notice the tube had come out of the toddler's throat. But she was cleared by the State Nursing Board to continue practicing in Rockford.
Briggs-Gunther tells 23 News, though she couldn't see the tube in Evelyn's throat, she believed it was still in place before she called the mother in for help, because it was in the last time she checked. She says she is very upset by the allegations.
The Zagal family is suing Briggs-Gunther for negligent care and her company for failure to train her properly. They have not set a monetary amount yet. The family has not ruled out the possibility of settling the case out of court, but right now it is moving toward trial.


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