KALAMAZOO, Mich. (CN) – A widower sued Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, claiming an employee sent his terminally ill wife a letter saying that she “would spend her eternity in hell if she didn’t get rid of the ‘sin virus’ that had caused her illness.” He claims that the letter was followed by a “harassing and outrageous” visit from a hospice director.
Edward Cowels sued the hospice on his own behalf and for his late wife. He also sued Laura Beck.
In his complaint in Kalamazoo County Court, Cowels claims that the hospice director “recognized the handwriting and that the letter actually came from an employee of HSM. The employee was confronted and admitted to writing the letter.”
The complaint adds: “This matter scared Mrs. Cowels terribly, caused her to lose sleep, and frightened her. She also worried that the Ms. Beck (sic) would come back to her home and harm her or her family.”
The letter scared his late wife so badly that their daughter had to sleep in the same room with her for 3 weeks, Cowels says.
He claims that “a director for HSM” came to their home, and that the visit “was harassing and outrageous, as HSM was more concerned about itself that Ms. Cowels, and it upset Mr. and Mrs. Cowels.”
He adds: “Mrs. Cowels, because of the incidents described above and the fear that the badgering would continue, switched her care to Borgess and Visiting Nurses Hospice.”
Cowels seeks damages for negligence, outrage and intentional infliction of emotional distress, from the hospice and from Laura Beck. He is represented by William Piper of Portage, Mich.