In a case that could be of interest to Massachusetts residents, the family of a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after an allegedly botched tonsil surgery in 2013 filed a lawsuit on March 3 against the California hospital that treated her. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
According to the 12-page complaint, the victim underwent a tonsillectomy and tissue removal to treat sleep apnea at the University of California San Francisco’s Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in December 2013. Following her surgery, the family claims the teen experienced massive bleeding and suffered a heart attack. Doctors declared her brain dead three days later.
The girl’s family disputes that she is brain dead and alleges that the hospital misdiagnosed her and improperly tried to turn off life support. Their medical malpractice attorney said the hospital’s attitude toward the girl was “cavalier.” After a court fight, the family was able bring the teen home to be cared for by her mother. She is still connected to breathing and feeding tubes and is now living in New Jersey. Officials from Benioff Children’s Hospital said they are barred from commenting on the case due to federal patient confidentiality laws.
Medical errors and hospital negligence can cause irreversible harm to a patient and their family, leaving them to deal with a permanent disability that requires a lifetime of care. Any individual or family who believes they have been the victim of medical malpractice may wish to consult with an attorney. It may be possible to obtain a financial settlement from the at-fault medical professional or medical care facility that provides compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.
Source: CBS News, “Family of Jahi McMath, teen declared brain dead, sues hospital,” March 3, 2015