Nearly one year ago, several families experienced heart-wrenching pain when they lost their newborn premature babies to a bacteria that was somehow allowed inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There have been plans to upgrade the facility but no one- the hospital, the Government or those in authority – has stepped forward to address the personal pain of these families.
Thirteen babies died, of which the deaths of eight were officially claimed to have been caused by the bacteria. Now, five women are suing those involved. Their attorney is Kareem Musa, who says the hospital has been less than cooperative.
“We made attempts to reach out to the KHMH, but at the end of the day, all attempts proved futile. We have requested the medical records (something as basic as that) for which the KHMH has not been forthcoming with that, despite our requests, and I found that to be very insulting, disrespectful to these families that have lost their children. As you know, there were thirteen of them, thirteen families, thirteen mothers. These mothers have taken action in their preliminary stages of the stages that don’t want to discuss the merits of the case per se, just to advice you all that yes, action has been taken. As you know, there is a one year status of limitation in instances of wrongful death. We were approaching that without any answer and without any apologies from the government, from the KHMH to these mothers and after that, one year limitation, they would have lost their right to take action. So, we found it necessary, we could not stall any longer, we could not engage them in their delaying tactics, we had to take action against them, despite the fact, I must remind you, we don’t have their medical records, but we have enough evidence to prove in fact that there was grouse negligence”.
The claim has been filed and the other side is expected to file their defense shortly. General damages are to be determined by the court, but there are special damages sought by each party for their distress, as Musa explains.
Kareem Musa: “We are seeking damages, both special and general damages. As you know, another insulting aspect of this case that keeps oncoming up in the media and what has certainly lead to the women feeling disrespectful and has resulted in them now feeling angry, is that, instead of assisting these ladies, the KHMH decided to send them a bill; imagine that, they send them a bill saying “you owe the hospital”); you owe the hospital for our grouse negligence; for killing your babies. That is what they were sent. So, what we are seeking, first of all, is what did the mothers actually have to suffer the cost of burying their newborns, and that, for each of them, is approximately $2,000. 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 KHMH brought them in, you know? They had discussion with these ladies which led to nothing. So, what was the purpose of all that? Again, that is mental turmoil for these ladies to have to go there. Expecting that something will happen for them and nothing happened for them. They have not been compensated a cent. So that is where we are aside from the lost that they have suffered in having to watch their young one die because of grouse negligence, because of the bacteria that had infiltrated the NICU which should never have happened in first place”.
The hospital, Musa says, has continually disrespected his clients at every turn, especially with regard to turning over their medical records.
Kareem Musa: “They have responded to our request for each of their medical records, saying that , oh, this and this baby didn’t die from that bacteria,, despite the fact that it was actually verbally confirmed to all these ladies and I am certain that the medical records would reflect that. It is just that no, they don’t want to give us those medical records, and they don’t want to give us for a reason. You, see, but we don’t have the medical records, but all of them were told by the pediatricians, by the nurses, by the NICU, your child died from that bacteria. So, that, to me, is a non-factor if they come with that defense that they did not die from that bacteria; again, another insult to these ladies”.
We will continue to keep an eye on the case.