An Albuquerque man walked away with his life after a near-death motorcycle crash earlier this year, but he didn’t leave the hospital with was all the belongings he had on him.
“A car turned in front of him. He was hit and suffered some pretty severe injuries and was taken to UNM for emergency treatment,” says Eva Blazejewski.
Blazejewski is Matthew Chavez’s attorney, who described the accident nearly took her client’s life.
“Very serious. Several fractures, a broken jaw,” she says.
In April, Matthew Chavez was approaching the intersection at Eighth Street and Bridge when another driver hit him, almost costing him his life.
Within a few hours of him getting to UNM Hospital, all the things he had on him were gone.
“Somewhere in those few hours, we know his property ended up at UNM Emergency Room, but somewhere it was lost or taken, or misplaced,” says Blazejewski.
Chavez’s driver’s license, insurance cards, debit card, and cash were some of the things he had on him when he arrived at UNMH. Chavez really only cares about one thing on the list of missing items.
“His grandfather’s ring, you would expect that was taken off at some point for medical issues, which is fine, but it was never traced. We don’t know what happened to it,” says Blazejewski.
UNMH policy states the hospital is responsible for securing a patient’s property or immediately sending it home with the family.
Blazejewski says by the time Chavez’s family got to the hospital, there was nothing to take home.
“It seems like there was never any record kept of where my client was, where he was being transported to,” she says.
After multiple failed attempts at trying to get answers, Chavez is suing the hospital.
“My client would like an answer and would like better processes in place so this doesn’t happen to other people,” says Blazejewski.
Chavez is thankful for the nurses and doctors at UNMH and credits them for saving his life. Now, he just hopes the lawsuit will help bring him some closure on the sentimental items he lost.
Blazejewski says the total cost of the items lost is about $3,000. UNMH did not comment on the suit.