During the past five years, medical malpractice and negligence at NYC’s 11 public hospitals have caused 468 deaths. The NY Post’s analysis of the city comptroller data obtained through a Freedom of Information request found that the city has paid 56 families around $34 million since 2014. The city-wide compensations were given on account of settlements against wrongful death claims made by the victims' families.
About 72 percent of the 106 wrongful-death lawsuits filed against HHC hospitals in 2014 are still awaiting verdicts. Out of all the hospitals operating under the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation, the King’s County Hospital had the highest number of wrongful-death claims, facing 91 lawsuits between 2014 and 2018.
In 2008, Esmin Green, a 49-year-old Jamaican-born woman, died in the waiting room of King’s County Hospital Center right in front of the hospital staff who did nothing to help her.
Ms. Green was admitted as a psychiatric patient and waited for medical attention in the waiting room for almost 24 hours until she collapsed on the floor. She died from a blood clot, which had remained untreated ever since she arrived at the hospital.
The death of a child in hospital is something that is dreaded by all hospital staff, yet it is a tragedy that occurred at Seattle Children's Hospital in February 2020.
A 5-month-old baby named Elizabeth Vera Hutt died after contracting a mold infection from the hospital. She was born in August 2019 with a congenital heart condition and had to undergo many surgeries. What her parents didn't know was that the hospital had closed four operating rooms on 18 May 2019 and another ten on 24 May 2019 after Aspergillus – a type of mold – was found during a routine air check. While the mold is relatively harmless to the ordinary person, it can be deadly if the spores take root in people with fragile immune systems.
In 2013, a 17-year old girl named Faith DeGrand filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Detroit Medical Center Children's Hospital of Michigan for a botched spinal surgery that left her paralyzed from the neck down.
Only 10-years old at the time, Faith required spinal surgery for her scoliosis. Unfortunately, what she got instead was a surgical error that caused her intense pain and further injury.
In 2012, a 48-year older man named Richard Shouldis informed his doctor that he was experiencing worsening symptoms of panic attacks, depression, fatigue, excessive worry, difficulty concentrating, and weight loss.
Richard was already taking several medications for anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances, yet his doctor failed to recognize that his depressive and self-destructive state was getting progressively worse. In fact, Richard’s family revealed that he was so agitated and disturbed in the week leading up to his suicide that his doctor should have immediately sent him to a psychiatrist or the hospital.