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Court date set for Dawson wrongful death lawsuit

by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor

A trial date has been set for the wrongful death suit brought by the Barbara Dawson estate against Calhoun Liberty Hospital, a former Blountstown Police Officer and the City of Blountstown.

The lawsuit is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 2 - 13 in federal court in Tallahassee, according to the hospital’s spokeswoman, Sandi Poreda.

The suit was filed July 16 with the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee.  It alleges that Dawson was falsely imprisoned, denied care, touched against her will while unconscious as two hospital employees attempted to put her in a patrol car and violated her civil rights to be free from unlawful arrest.

The family is seeking damages as well as attorney’s fees.

Barbara Dawson, 57, died of a blood clot in her lungs after collapsing outside the hospital’s emergency room entrance in the early morning hours of Dec. 21, 2015.

She arrived at the facility several hours earlier complaining of stomach pain. She refused to leave after being examined by a doctor, who said he found nothing wrong with her.  After she remained at the facility for eight hours, a police officer was called to escort her outside.

She was led outside the hospital in handcuffs and later collapsed while standing next to the officer’s patrol car.

She died a short time later of what was found to be a blood clot in her lungs.

An investigation by the State Attorney’s Office determined that the actions of BPD Officer John Tadlock were appropriate under the circumstances and there was no criminal violation.

The actions around Dawson’s death forced the hospital to review its staff, policies and procedures as state and federal agencies took a hard look at the facility.  Fines were assessed, a complete review of patient charts was conducted and a lengthy checklist of corrective actions were put in place.

For more information on this case, go to and search “Barbara Dawson.”

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February 10th, 2017



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