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Medical Malpractice Blog Post

Family of Girl Severely Injured in 2013 Procedure Files Medical Malpractice Suit

The family of Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly wrongfully diagnosed as being brain dead after being treated for sleep apnea, has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court against her doctor, Frederick Rosen, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The allegations in the lawsuit contain the first public account from the family’s perspective of what happened that led to her condition. The family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages in the suit.

Rosen performed surgery to remove McMath’s tonsils, soft pallet, uvula and adenoids and did some work on the inside of her nose. After the surgery, Jahi suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Three days later, the hospital declared that she was brain dead, but the family challenged that diagnosis and fought against the hospital’s decision to remove her from a ventilator. After a long fight in court, the family won the right to move her to a new hospital in New Jersey. Since that move, three different doctors signed a formal declaration saying that Jahi was not, in fact, brain dead.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit are the following:

  • Rosen recommended an unusually risky and complex surgery
  • Rosen determined Jahi had a medical condition that increased her risk of hemorrhaging during surgery, but did not notify other doctors or nurses who were taking care of her after the surgery
  • Nurses assured Jahi’s family that the bleeding was “normal” while she was coughing up blood
  • The hospital’s chief of pediatrics tried to convince the family that Jahi was dead

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of negligent doctors or health care professionals, contact the skilled San Diego medical malpractice attorneys at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.

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Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire
2550 Fifth Avenue, 11th Floor
San Diego, California, 92103-6612 USA