The family of a woman who died from pregnancy complications at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton was recently given the authority to proceed with their wrongful death lawsuit. Paula Sampson, a 32-year-old Hadley resident, died while she was a patient at Cooley in 2013. The family sued shortly thereafter.
In Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuits, a tribunal made up of a judge, an attorney, and a doctor hear arguments and decide whether there is sufficient evidence for the suit to continue. (The members of the tribunal are not otherwise involved with the lawsuit.)
Sampson’s suit lists seven defendants, comprised of various medical staff and the hospital itself. This month, a tribunal composed of Judge Daniel Ford, attorney Gary Ensor, and Dr. David Cramer ruled that there was enough evidence for the suit to continue against all of the defendants except one — Dr. Navneet Marwaha.
Sampson’s family alleges that the hospital workers were negligent in treating Sampson. Specifically, the staff allegedly ignored clear indications that Sampson was experiencing pre-eclampsia — a sometimes fatal pregnancy complication — and then neglected to respond with adequate care.
The suit further claims that the staff deceived family members when Sampson was “beyond recovery,” and they transferred her for “no valid medical reason” to another hospital in Boston.
The family’s attorney has said he wants the defendants to acknowledge responsibility, which he says would be very meaningful to the Sampson family.
A Cooley spokesperson said that the hospital does not comment on pending litigation.
There are several additional pending cases involving Cooley and its Childbirth Center in particular.
Christopher and Deidre McDaniel, who live in South Hadley, filed suit a few months ago in Hampshire Superior Court, alleging that Cooley’s childcare doctors failed to explain the risks that accompany a vaginal birth after Deidre had her first child successfully via cesarean section. As a result of the vaginal birth, the suit alleges, Deidre’s daughter was born with cerebral palsy. The medical tribunal has not yet scheduled a hearing for this case.
Roughly five other serious incidents — including three deaths, two infant fatalities — have occurred at Cooley between 2012 and 2014. These incidents compelled the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to launch an investigation.
Cooley officials indicated that they enacted curative measures in response to the investigation. Specifically, the new measures were designed to prevent staff overtiredness and improve the instruction and transmission of information in the Childbirth Center. Cooley was mandated to submit their plan to the Department of Public Health.
If you have been injured by another party’s negligence, you may face significant medical bills and time off work, and you may need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to redress your injuries. At the Neumann Law Group, our personal injury attorneys provide trustworthy legal representation to accident victims all over the state of Massachusetts. Contact us toll-free at 800-525-NEUMANN or use our online form to set up a free consultation.
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