After a highly publicized dispute that involved the custody rights of a teen involving a medical dispute, the teen’s parents filed a suit against an out-of-state children’s hospital. The suit, which was filed on a recent Thursday in February, alleged that medical malpractice occurred, as well as civil rights violations. When a medical professional who does not perform his or her duties according to professional standards causes a Pennsylvania patient to be injured, the patient or family is typically entitled to file a medical malpractice suit.

According to the suit, the teenage daughter first received treatment for mitochondrial disease at a different medical center. Later during the month of Feb. 2013, she visited a new hospital due to the gastroenterologist transferring. Instead of the girl being directly admitted to the hospital’s GI unit there, her parents’ suit states that a different doctor “intercepted” her in the emergency room. This doctor changed the teen’s diagnosis.

This doctor’s diagnosis relied on the belief that the teen’s illness was psychosomatic and quickly pulled her off the medications she was taking. At this point, the parents tried to discharge their child — this caused the hospital to choose to contact the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and stated that her parents may have been committing medical child abuse due to their perceived interfering with the medical care of their daughter and deciding on unnecessary treatments. This lead to the DCF taking over custody of the girl for over one year — during this time the teen, now 17, was placed in the psychiatric unit. The suit alleges that when the girl arrived at the second hospital, the teen only was suffering from the flu, but now cannot walk and is even wheelchair confined.

When a patient in Pennsylvania suffers an injury due to the apparent negligence of a medical professional, the victim — or his or her family — is fully within their rights to pursue a medical malpractice suit against the party or parties believed to have been negligent. When successfully navigated, this may result in the entry of a monetary judgment to recover damages sustained, which can help lessen some of the typical costs often associated with similar injuries. A medical malpractice victim often begins the process of filing a suit by consulting an experienced personal injury attorney to assess the validity of his or her claim.

Source: boston.com, “Family of Justina Pelletier sues Boston Children’s Hospital“, Dialynn Dwyer, Feb. 25, 2016