Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Willimantic jurors decide if doctors could've saved a girl's life

Although it's been seven years since she died, jurors have finally been selected in the medical malpractice case that was filed by a 3-year-old Willimantic girl's father. They will decide if the two emergency room doctors at Windham Hospital could have stopped the girl's mother and her boyfriend from abusing her to death.

According to the civil lawsuit filed in the case, the young girl had been admitted to the emergency room with a head injury shortly before her death. Soon thereafter, doctors released her to return home with her mother. She was beaten to death by her mom's live-in boyfriend hours later.

The girl had previously been seen in the that same hospital's emergency room in the weeks before her death. It was at that time that doctors determined that she'd likely been abused. They referred the case to DCF.

According to the lawsuit, doctors reportedly didn't make any attempt to check her hospital or social services records, call DCF to report the incident or to keep her from being released from the hospital on the day she died.

Her father contends that the hospital staff would have found out that the girl's teachers and doctors had called the DCF hotline to report fresh facial injuries in the weeks before her death had they simply checked their records.

DCF reportedly never interviewed the mom's boyfriend or removed a younger daughter from the mom's home. They also believed mom when she said that she was simply getting hurt by falling in the home.

Jurors who will hear the case filed against the hospital will have to decide whether Windham Hospital and its emergency room doctors were negligent by not performing a physical exam or reviewing her medical history before sending her home with her mom. If they agree that these providers contributed to her death, then her father may be able to receive compensation for her untimely wrongful death.

Doctors take an oath to "do no harm" when they graduate medical school. Teachers, doctors, therapists and other individuals who are in a position to develop relationships of trust with others are mandated reporters who are under obligation to report any suspected abuse or self-harm. A New Haven medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your ability to hold a negligent party accountable for having not upheld their obligations.

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