The mother of a 28-year-old medical student who suddenly collapsed at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, Des Plaines, Illinois, in Dec. 2015 is now suing the Des Plaines Park District for wrongful death.
Alexandra Frunza slumped over while sitting on a leg exercise machine at 3:02 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2015, according to the Daily Herald. Video surveillance footage shows Frunza was still conscious until at least 3:17 p.m., when another gym patron saw her cough, the lawsuit alleges.
Des Plaines Park District staff did not find Frunza until 3:31 p.m., according to Journal Online. First aid was administered at 3:35 p.m., but Frunza later died at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital at 5:02 p.m. Viral meningitis was identified as the cause of death.
Frunza's mother, Anisoara Frunza, argues her daughter's death may have been prevented if not for the 33-minute delay, Journal Online reported. Moreover, the lawsuit claims the park district ultimately failed to recognize a medical emergency was taking place.
The suit states: “One of the essential duties of the front desk associate at the community center is to respond to emergencies in the facility that may include incidents of a serious nature.”
An automated external defibrillator (AED) was available at the time of Frunza's collapse but was never used, according to the Journal Online.
The suit alleges front desk employees had access to a closed-circuit television that displayed the facility's workout rooms. Additionally, a nearby partially glass wall allowed for added visibility into the room, the suit claims.
In total, Anisoara is seeking a trial by jury and $50,000 for medical and burial expenses, along with "sustained damages to loss of love, society, companionship and grief."
"The park district is aware of the unfortunate incident and recent lawsuit and plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations and all claims made by the plaintiff," Facility Director Don Miletic said in a Dec. 27 statement, according to the Herald.
Frunza was a student at St. George's University in Grenada and was in town visiting family for the holidays when she died, according to the Herald.