A lawsuit in New Jersey making headlines this week involves the widow of a 42-year-old lawyer who went into cardiac arrest and died at the Gloucester County courthouse. The wife of deceased attorney Peter Fiorentino Jr. is suing the county, alleging that negligence on the part of first responders was the cause of death.
According to the complaint Vasquez v. Gloucester County, Fiorentino was in a second-floor conference room when his heart stopped beating.
911 was called, but the case alleges that first responders arriving on the scene failed to locate a defibrillator because the devices were located only on the first and third floors of the four-story building. Responders eventually found the defibrillator, but the life-saving device allegedly malfunctioned before it could be administered. Fiorentino died four days after the incident. The suit was filed in federal court in Camden.
This case may be unsettling, but it also carries an important message for anyone going through a stressful divorce or high-conflict family law matter: Take good care of your health. Whether you need to go court, or you are attempting to resolve your family law matter in an out of court setting, here are three tips for making sure your well-being and safety can stay protected:
Get to the bottom of health insurance issues: For some individuals, divorce means changing health insurance plans, buying COBRA coverage, or taking on payments for a brand new policy. Feeling uncertain about coverage, or suddenly being without coverage, can lead some people to go without needed medication, or skip vital appointments with their doctor, due to cost concerns. If you’re not sure about the current state of your health insurance coverage, we have several resources that can help, including the following articles and blogs:
Article: Obtaining or Terminating Benefits
Get a physical check up: Once you’ve settled your health insurance issues, think about making an appointment with your doctor for a general check up. Why? Ending a marriage ranks as one of life’s most stressful events. Stress, in turn, can have an impact on physical health. Your doctor can check your blood pressure and other vitals, and be on hand to answer your specific health concerns. Just finding out that you are in good physical shape can reduce stress!
Don’t let health take a backseat: Do you have weekly physical therapist appointments? Do you take daily medications? Are you receiving special treatments for a chronic health issue? Unless your medical health care providers tell you otherwise, continue with your prescribed medications and therapies as a way to keep your health stable. If you do have serious health issues, it makes sense to inform your care providers about your new situation and any needed flexibility you may need in scheduling appointments.
The old saying, “When you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything” is still true, even when you are getting a divorce. Depending on your perspective, it may be truer than ever!