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Apr 30, 2014

10 months later, lawsuit brought against K.H.M.H. for dead babies

Five of thirteen mothers are taking legal action against the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for negligence. An attorney has filed a claim against the hospital for the deaths which occurred between the months of April and May of 2013 due to the bacteria, enterobacter cloacae. The newborns had received an initial good prognosis, but died suddenly; surviving not more than fifteen days after their birth. The deaths became a huge national issue but one year after, there has been no relief for the mothers and families of the newborns who perished in the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital. Now Marissa Cruz, Katricia Panting, Nichole Grinage, Kelsey Young and Georgiana Hernandez have enlisted the services of an attorney and are claiming for damages for the wrongful death of their babies. The claim is seeking special damages for what Attorney Kareem Musa says was gross negligence on the part of the national referral hospital. They are also seeking general damages because to add insult to injury, the families received medical bills after they had lost their babies due to the infection. Musa says that while the hospital has not been forthcoming with providing the relevant medical records of the deceased newborns, there is enough evidence to support their claim.

 

Kareem Musa, Attorney

Kareem Musa

“Initially, about a year ago, I was approached by Yolanda Schakron who is the President of the People’s United Party’s United Women’s Group and she requested that I assist these mothers; at that time it was five of them. And I said certainly; whatever way I can assist, I will render my aid. Since then we have been working on this case. I met with the mothers several times over the past year and we’ve been writing to the K.H.M.H. because we said that perhaps they might be willing to settle because this was a clear act—in my opinion—of gross negligence on the part of the hospital. So we made attempts to reach out to the K.H.M.H., but at the end of the day all attempts proved futile. We have requested the medical records…something as basic as that Daniel and the K.H.M.H. has not been forthcoming with that. They have not given us, despite our request, and I found that to be very insulting, disrespectful to these families that have lost their children.  We are seeking damages; both special and general damages. As you know, another insulting aspect of this case that keeps on coming up in the media and what has certainly led to the women feeling disrespected and has now resulted in them now feeling angry is that instead of assisting these ladies, the K.H.M.H. decided to send them a bill. Imagine, they sent them a bill saying you owe the hospital; you owe the hospital for our gross negligence, for killing your babies.  That is what they were sent. So what we are seeking first of all is special damages. What did the mothers actually have to suffer? They had to suffer the cost of burying their newborns and that for each of them is approximately two thousand dollars. But that is not the extent of the claim. There is a lot of emotional distress; a lot of pain and suffering. What has taken place over the last year? Imagine the K.H.M.H. brought them in, had discussions with these ladies which led to nothing. So what was the purpose of all that? Again that is mental turmoil for these ladies to go there; expecting for something will happen for them and nothing happened for them. They have not been compensated a cent.”

 

A defense will be filed shortly by the attorney for the K.H.M.H., and following that a date will be set for trial. Of the thirteen babies, five are being represented by Musa. A sixth mother, Musa says was also represented by another attorney from the law firm and that that person has settled out of court. 

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