The widow of Frank Flook, a Northeast resident fatlly shot in the head by an intruder in his home in 1979, has sued the District government for $500,000, claiming that D.C. General Hospital failed to disclose to her that it had no neurosurgeon to operate on Flook.
Marilyn H. Flook said in a lawsuit filed this week in D.C. Superior Court that the hospital assured her that her husband was "receiving the best possible medical care and attention . . . and that nothing more could be done for him other than what was being done by the staff of D.C. General Hospital."
However, Flook said she learned in an article published last June in The Washington Post that D.C. General had no neurosurgeon, and the resident who operated on her husband "had never perfromed such a procedure before and did so without the appropriate equipment or assistance."
"She would like to believe that she did everything possible for him," said Mona Lyons, an attorney representing Marilyn Flook. "She just has this nagging feeling that she let him down, that he died not getting the quality care he should have."
A spokesman for the hospital declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Frank Flook was shot to death Dec. 27, 1979, after he and his wife tried to prevent two men from forcing their way into their home in the 1500 block of A Street NE. Flook was rushed by ambulance to nearby D.C. General Hospital, where he later died. The Post reported last June that the hospital had no staff neurosurgeon available to operate on Flook, and that the neurosurgeon who was supposed to be on call that night was not home and that no one knew where to reach him.
A next-door neighbor of the Flooks, Gregory Benson, 27, was arrested and charged in the case. Benson's trial ended with a hung jury, and he is expected to be retried this month.