In 2018, the Tampa Bay Times reported “that the death and complication rates in the [Johns Hopkins] All Children’s heart surgery unit had spiked in recent years.” The source stated that “frontline workers” had even informed supervisors about certain issues that existed. It was later reported that the CEO, three executives, and two surgeons had stepped down from their positions and “the hospital halted heart surgeries while it restructured the department.”
Apparently, there were several children who were affected by the issues that had been occurring within the hospital’s All Children’s heart surgery unit. Although the news source says the hospital is negotiating with 11 families, it also disclosed information regarding some of those families that had already reached an agreement with the hospital. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is expected to pay $26 million to one family and $12.75 million to another after their children were left paralyzed after undergoing heart surgery.
The $26 million settlement was paid to the family of a male patient who “suffered brain damage and lost the use of his limbs following a March 2017 heart transplant.” His injury was “described as a broken suture, the medical term for a stitch that holds tissues together after an injury or surgery.” The boy’s case was similar to another victim, Jean Kariel Viera Maldonado, “who suffered a massive stroke after a heart transplant.” The source says that his medical records indicated that he had suffered an injury after “the stitching connecting his new heart to a vein called the inferior vena cava had broken, causing him to bleed internally for 20 minutes.”
Before Kean Kariel underwent the surgery, he “was a vibrant 5-year-old who played soccer and rode horses.” Now, he can no longer walk, speak, or even feed himself.
The source says that a third family is expected to receive $750,000 after they lost their child following the heart surgery that was performed. When the Tampa Bay Times spoke with Johns Hopkins Health System CEO Kevin Sowers back in June 2019, he told the source that “we made a mistake, and we need to make sure we help support these families and make it right.”
What legal remedies can a Tampa family take if their child was harmed during surgery?
No matter what type of surgical procedure your child underwent, if they were harmed in the process and their injuries could have been prevented, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice, or malpractice is “the tort committed when a professional fails to properly execute their duty to a client. The duty of a professional to a client is generally defined as the duty to follow generally accepted professional standards.” Tort is a legal term that is used to refer to “an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.”
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in the State of Florida
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be tricky, particularly because doctors and hospitals are protected by various laws. However, if you can prove the treating physician, surgeon, nurse, etc. made a mistake while carrying out the procedure, you may stand a chance at winning your case.
You see, Florida law states that if an individual is seeking damages for the injuries they suffered as a result of a health care provider’s negligence, “the [individual] shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
Essentially, what this means is that it is your duty as your child’s parent to identify how the physician was negligent. In the event your child is not a minor, then they may be the one to file suit. Now, proving negligence can be a difficult thing to do which is why you will need to retain a personal injury lawyer who has experience with handling medical malpractice cases. At Larson Johnson, PL, our Tampa, FL personal injury lawyers have handled various types of cases including:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
- Construction accidents, and more.
If you would like to have one of our experienced injury lawyers in Tampa, FL assess your situation and determine if legal action can be taken, contact us now at 813-228-6688. In the event we determine that you do have a viable case, we can then help you understand your rights along with the forms of legal action you are permitted to take.