February 23, 2016, PNLR E-Newsletter
Failure to summon emergency care for infant
The plaintiff alleged that her foster mother failed to timely bring her to the hospital and that a family physician failed to summon emergency care or accompany her to the hospital when she stopped breathing and required resuscitation. The parties settled for $1.2 million. Doe v. Cook.
Doe, who was under two months old, contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which caused her to stop breathing during the night. Her foster mother, Betty Cook, called a doctor’s office four hours later and was told to go to an emergency room. Instead, Cook took Doe to a clinic, where she was seen by family physician Anne Hamilton. During the appointment, Doe stopped breathing, necessitating resuscitation by Hamilton. Hamilton told Cook to drive the child to a hospital five minutes away. At the hospital, Doe was diagnosed as having suffered a hypoxic brain injury. Now 5, she suffers from cortical blindness and is unable to walk, stand, sit, feed herself, or talk.
Doe sued Cook, Hamilton, and the insurance fund for California foster parents, alleging that (1) Hamilton failed to summon emergency care or accompany her to the hospital and (2) Cook failed to timely go to the hospital after she was told to do so.
The parties settled for $1.2 million. Hamilton paid $900,000, and the insurance fund, the rest.
Citation: Doe v. Cook, No. RIC-13-00442 (Cal. Super Ct. Riverside Cnty. Nov. 18, 2015).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member W. Douglas Easton, Brian W. Easton, and AAJ member Matthew D. Easton, all of Costa Mesa, Calif.