ANGLETON, Texas (CN) – A widow claims that when her husband died on his shift at ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery, Exxon, knowing he was dead, had emergency workers move his body illegally and take it to a hospital. The widow says that though Exxon was told all along the line that the man was dead, it called her and told her he had “fainted,” then sent her to the hospital to discover the truth.
Daina Sarafin says her husband, 53-year-old Billy John Sarafin Jr., was found dead at about 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2009, one hour after starting his shift. His fellow employees used CPR and a defibrillator, but “Exxon Mobil knew Sarafin was deceased,” according to the complaint in Brazoria County Court.
Nonetheless, she says, “An ambulance was called to the refinery and Exxon Mobil insisted the City of Mont Belvieu’s EMS employee move Sarafin’s body when it was known by Exxon Mobil and the City that such removal was an illegal act. Exxon Mobil directed that Sarafin be transferred via ambulance from the refinery to San Jacinto Hospital. The ambulance driver, working in the course and scope of his employment, advised the defendant hospital that Sarafin was dead and the hospital didn’t attempt resuscitation. The patient was moved to Room 14.
“At approximately 9 p.m., Tim Spinner, an Exxon Mobil supervisor, called plaintiff, Sarafin’s wife, and informed her that Sarafin had ‘fainted’ at work and that she should come to San Jacinto Hospital. No other information was provided.”
No Exxon employees were at the hospital when she arrived, she says, and after being directed to Room 14, “plaintiff approached her husband and suddenly realized he was dead. Obviously in hysterics and horrified at the sight of her husband’s lifeless body, plaintiff immediately broke down emotionally and went into shock.”
The widow says San Jacinto Hospital knew her husband was dead on arrival and it “violated its polices and procedures by directing a family member to encounter a deceased family member without advising of the death.”
She also accuses Exxon Mobil of not having the proper medical equipment on site and failing to provide a safe workplace.
And, she says, Exxon did not tell her she only one year in which to file a claim with the workers’ compensation carrier.
She sued Exxon Mobil dba Exxon Mobil Chemical Co., Tim Spinner, San Jacinto Methodist Hospital and San Jacinto Methodist Hospital Service Corp. for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She seeks compensatory and exemplary damages, and funeral and medical expenses.
She is represented by Michael M. Phillips of Angleton.