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Lawsuit: Long Island Hospitals Killed Baby, Accused Parents of Abuse

newborn hand clings to fingerA Long Island couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that hospitals made a series of disastrous mistakes leading to the death of their baby and then accused the parents of abuse as a cover-up. The accusations threatened Sara and Padraig Keenan with the loss of their two older sons as well as their infant daughter before they were finally cleared of any culpability.

According to the lawsuit, Padraig Keenan found his three-month-old infant Lana choking on her own vomit in her crib an hour after her mother laid her down to sleep after nursing her. A houseguest who worked as an EMT was able to revive the baby. However, when the Keenan’s called 911, the care that their daughter received at the hands of several medical professionals led to her death.

The EMTs failed to intubate, give oxygen to, or protect the baby from cold as they carried her to the ambulance. They brought the baby to Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital (rather than a nearby pediatric intensive care unit) where doctors administered what the lawsuit calls a “cornucopia of drugs” to the tiny patient. This mix of drugs lowered her blood pressure to the extent that oxygen failed to reach her brain for at least an hour; epinephrine administered to correct the problem did not work because the IV was incorrectly inserted. Finally, Lana was taken to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, where she ultimately died.

As baby dies, parents are accused of abuse

As their baby lay dying, the Keenans were accused of causing her death by Dr. Jamie Hoffman-Rosenfeld, a doctor at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Hoffman-Rosenfeld believed that Lana had died due to shaken-baby syndrome. The doctor and social workers from Suffolk County barred the Keenans from having any contact with her and took custody of their 6- and 3-year-old sons. An investigation confirmed that no physical abuse had occurred, but child protective services nevertheless pursued an investigation against the couple for 11 months. The Keenans were cleared of abuse allegations in 2015.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Hoffman-Rosenfeld led a“a bogus, illegitimate, and wholly contrived witch hunt falsely accusing both of harming their child and causing the injury which ultimately led to her death,”and noted that “The type of brain damage [Lana] sustained did not even closely resemble what is seen in ‘shaken baby syndrome’ or cases involving intentional or accidental ‘traumatic head injury.’”

Lawsuit filed over death of baby, abuse accusations

The Keenans have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit naming Hoffman-Rosenfeld, the EMTs, the hospitals involved in the baby’s care, and several other entities. They say that they believe that they were accused of abuse to make a false confession and take pressure off the hospitals for their culpability in the baby’s death.

Malpractice suits can be difficult to win, but the right case can be pursued with success. Malpractice involves providing medical treatment that falls below the standard of care. If a patient dies as a result of substandard care, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other members of the medical establishment can be held responsible in a civil suit.

If you believe that you or a family member have suffered as a result of malpractice, please contact the attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye to better understand your legal options. Call 1-800-469-7429 to set up a no-cost/no-obligation case review to review your options.