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Michael Jackson sued over woman's death

Michael Jackson has found himself in hot water again, and it's all because he wasn't feeling well.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Michael Jackson has found himself in hot water again, and it's all because he wasn't feeling well.

The family of a woman who died at a Santa Maria hospital is suing the King of Pop and the Marian Medical Center for allegedly inflicting emotional distress and other harm on them after the pop star's visit the same day caused a stir.

The civil complaint, filed Thursday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria on the two-year anniversary of the death of 73-year-old Manuela Gomez Ruiz, alleges abuse of celebrity status.

Ruiz died at the hospital facility in Santa Maria in February 2005, shortly after she was reportedly transported from a two-bed trauma room to make room for Jackson.

In the lawsuit, the family blames the hospital and the singer for the "outrageous, circus-like atmosphere they orchestrated during the last hours of Manuela Ruiz's life and its obvious emotional and mental lasting effects upon the plaintiffs."

The plaintiffs, mostly children of Ruiz, are seeking unspecified damages.

"The most recent complaint appears to be another frivolous claim to generate publicity," the hospital said in a written statement released to the press. "Patient care and safety is always our first priority at Marian. As such, we are confident the care provided to Mrs. Ruiz was exceptional."

Claim: Mother was ‘hustled’ aimlessly about hospitalJackson visited the hospital on February 15, 2005 during his child molestation trial when he was complaining of flu-like symptoms.

According to the plaintiffs, Ruiz had suffered a massive heart attack early that day and was placed in a two-bed trauma room in a restricted area of the hospital. She was admitted in critical condition and was put on life support.

San Luis Obispo attorney James McKiernan, who is representing the family, told reporters his clients expected a certain level of care at the hospital, but instead their dying mother was allegedly "hustled" aimlessly about the hospital and unhooked from a life support system to create privacy for Jackson and his entourage in the trauma room.

In addition, Ruiz's family members were restricted from visiting her while security and staff blocked the hospital hallway, McKiernan claimed.

Ruiz, reportedly kept alive by hand-pumped oxygen, was slowly transported to an exam room with no medical equipment in it, according to the plaintiffs. Life-support machines later arrived at Ruiz's new room. However, she had another heart attack, and the lawsuit claims the crowds delayed her arrival at the critical-care unit.

She died later that evening.

McKiernan also told reporters that the reason the family waited so long to file the lawsuit was so it wouldn't appear they wanted to "jump on the Michael Jackson bashing-boat."

No trial date has been set.

Access Hollywood has reached out to the hospital and to Michael Jackson's representatives for comment.