For a parent the loss of a child brings about pain and devastation, the loss can feel overwhelming. Some of the immediate emotions parents experience in grief are shock, numbness, denial, confusion and disbelief. Five parents of children who died in the Louisiana Children’s Hospital experienced all those emotions and years later they are just now learning that their children’s death was part of a fungal outbreak at Children's Hospital. The deadly fungus was spread through hospital bed linens.
Unfortunately for those parents their options to pursue compensation for their loss in Louisiana's courts are limited in a state that imposes strict rules on malpractice claims. The law includes a three-year deadline to file claims of improper medical care and a $500,000 cap on damage awards.
Children's Hospital last week publicly acknowledged that five children died during an 11-month outbreak in 2008 and 2009 of mucormycosis, a deadly infection caused by fungus found in dirt and decaying organic matter. The hospital also admitted to a failure to inform the families about what happened.
The lawsuits name no doctors or nurses as defendants, only the hospital as a whole. In LA general negligence allows for filing a claim within one year of the injury, or within one year of learning about the injury.
As Virginia medical malpractice lawyers we have argued that the medical cap is completely unfair. It is nothing more than a special favor to the medical system and medical malpractice insurance companies. Ironically, studies have shown that caps do nothing to increase the availability of healthcare or lower the premiums that doctors pay for medical malpractice coverage. The insurance companies just pocket the extra profit.