In January 2014, parents Sara and Padraig Keenan entered into a nightmare when their 3-month-old daughter was found in her crib choking after being breastfed.
The couple was hosting a houseguest who worked as an EMT and who was able to revive the baby girl and got her breathing again. Frantically, the parents called 911 and emergency medical technicians from Exchange Ambulances were sent to their home.
The family could never have foreseen the terrible string of events that were about to occur.
While on the scene, the emergency medical technicians failed to intubate the baby girl and did not provide her with oxygen or protection from the frigid January temperature while they carried her to the ambulance that was parked four doors away. Worse, the emergency medical technicians took her to Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital instead of Good Samaritan Hospital or Stony Brook Hospital – both of which have highly reputable paediatric intensive care units.
Horrifyingly, the emergency-room doctor at Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital administered a “cornucopia of drugs” to the 12-pound baby girl which included a very powerful sedative called Propofol. The baby girl’s blood pressure dropped so severely in response to this deadly cocktail that oxygen did not reach her brain for over an hour, effectively rendering her brain-damaged. In an attempt to reverse the effects of the Propofol and their mistake, the emergency-room doctor administered Epinephrine to raise the baby girl’s blood pressure. Unfortunately, this intervention failed, as the IV containing the Epinephrine was incorrectly inserted by the doctor.
Realising the severity of the situation, the emergency-room doctor transferred the baby girl to Cohen Children’s Medical Centre in Queens, which was over an hour away. Hopeful for a resolution, the Keenan’s were stunned to be met with Dr Jamie Hoffman-Rosenfeld, who jokingly introduced herself as “Dr House,” a fictional TV diagnostician from the TV series “House.”
Dr Hoffman-Rosenfeld decided, without conducting a thorough medical examination, that the baby girl suffered from shaken-baby syndrome. She accused the Keenan’s of child abuse and for causing the injury which the baby girl was currently being treated for. As a result of this accusation, Hoffman-Rosenfeld and Suffolk County social workers began filing paperwork and securing orders of protection to bar the Keenan’s from seeing their baby girl. They also took custody of the parent’s other two children.
While Dr Hoffman-Rosenfeld and Suffolk County social workers were filing the paperwork, the Keenan’s baby girl was not treated and lay dying in the hospital. Ultimately, she succumbed to her injuries and passed away later that day.
A traumatic legal battle followed, whereby the Keenan’s opened a medical malpractice lawsuit against Hoffman-Rosenfeld while fighting the child protection agency for custody of their two sons, who had been taken away due to the false child abuse accusations made by Hoffman-Rosenfeld. The custody case has since been resolved, with the Keenan’s being cleared of all charges; however the medical malpractice lawsuit is still pending.
As this case shows, medical malpractice is never straightforward, and a combination of both medical malpractice and social injustice occurred in this instance.
Given this complexity, the first thing you should do when pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer who can review your case and appropriately guide you on the way forward.
It is equally important that you consult with a medical malpractice lawyer who lives in the same state as you, as the laws and statute of limitations differ between states. If you live in NYC, then you will need to consult with a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney to ensure that you have the best possible chance of winning your lawsuit and receiving compensation.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will explain to you that there are certain terms and conditions that you will need to meet to ensure your case’s viability before it is brought to trial, and they will be able to help you meet these criteria to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Lastly, this medical malpractice attorney will be able to refer you to other support and representation avenues should your case have multiple legal components like the Keenan case.
If you or a family member have been a victim of medical malpractice, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.
You can speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys for a free, confidential consultation by calling 1-866-516-5887.