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Family says Michael Jackson's flu killed their grandma

UPI News Service, 02/25/2005 

The family of a California woman says she died of a heart attack after being shuttled from her hospital room to make way for Michael Jackson.

Jury selection in Jackson's child molestation trial was delayed Feb. 15 when the pop star was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., with the flu.

ABC News reported Friday Manuela Gomez Ruiz, 74, was taken off a machine ventilator and moved out of the primary trauma room and into a smaller room when Jackson, 46, walked into the emergency room.

Hospital records obtained by ABC showed Jackson's illness was not life threatening, and "he could go home anytime."

Maria Elena Ortiz, the woman's daughter, said she objected to her mother being moved.

The family, which has hired a lawyer to sue both Jackson and the hospital, said staff turned all their attention to the famous patient and also deprived them of being with Ruiz when she died.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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