Video showing woman before death is focus of lawsuit against Leon Medical Centers

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Jose Duran said his mother, Maria Duran, was his world. He said she meant everything to his family. Surveillance video showing the beloved 86-year-old grandmother — suffering before her death on Jan. 16, 2018 — still haunts him.

The video is the focus of a lawsuit against her healthcare provider Leon Medical Centers, a privately-owned healthcare organization. The video was shot while Maria Duran was sitting in a Leon transport bus on her way to a medical check-up

“It was hard to watch while she sat there obviously in distress,” Jose Duran said.

He said his mother had hit her head, which appears bruised, and interviews revealed that she asked the driver to take her to a hospital.

“He did absolutely nothing,” Jose Duran said.

Surveillance video shows Maria Duran was feeling so ill she was vomiting in her purse while in a Leon bus on her way to the doctor. (Courtesy of Jose Duran)

An investigation showed Maria Duran rode on the bus for over an hour as it picked up more patients. Video shows her in the row behind the driver. She was vomiting into her purse.

“She is vomiting again right next to the driver never asking her if she’s okay,” said Aaron Davis, the attorney who is representing Jose Duran.

Eventually, Duran appears to pass out. Her head falls onto the woman next to her. She gets no medical attention until the bus arrives at the clinic on Southwest 88th Street.

“Then finally Maria Duran is taken off,” Davis said. “She would die that night.”

A spokesperson for Leon Medical Centers released a statement: “Leon strongly denies any negligence in this case. To be clear, Leon denies that the injury to Ms. Duran occurred on the Leon bus and no allegation has been made to that effect.”

Davis said it’s about what happened after the fall. He argues quick action could have saved Duran’s life.

“The time that elapsed was the critical moments, the golden hour as they call it, to get someone the help they need,” Davis said.

Meanwhile, Jose Duran is worried that this could happen to other families.

“Something could have been done and that’s what I have been living with for the last three years,” Jose Duran said.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.