Los Angeles Hospital On Trial For Lawsuit Over Consent For Infant’s Operation


Posted on 13th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Tujunga man is suing Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, alleging that his 6-month-old son was brain-damaged after undergoing double hernia surgery that the father never consented to. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hospital-consent13-2010apr13,0,6085749.story

 The suit, which seeks $19 million, was brought by Eduardo Rivas, 43, against the hospital and two physicians. The case is being tried now in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where Rivas testified last week that he never signed a consent form the surgery performed on his infant son, according to The Los Angeles Times.

 Rivas’s son Nathan was born four months premature. The infant had been transferred to Children’s Hospital from Glendale Memorial Hospital, and Rivas got a call from a doctor and a Spanish-speaking social worker that Nathan had to have surgery.

 Through an interpreter Rivas, a roofing inspector, told the jury that the social worker had assured him the surgery was minor and that the only risk was a minor infection.

 Rivas, whose wife died shortly after Nathan’s birth, testified that he did not give his consent. But the next day, Nov. 16, 2007, the surgery was performed on Nathan.

 Children’s Hospital maintains that Rivas gave verbal approval for the surgery. But the hospital was unable to later find any records that proved that Rivas had given his approval, according to The Times. The consent form for the surgery had the name of Nathan’s doctor and a nurse, but not that of Rivas.

 Following his operation Nathan, who had a breathing tube when he came to Children’s Memorial, became  dependent on a ventilator and feeding tube.

 Rivas charges that his son’s condition was the result of his son’s reaction to anesthesia. The hospital blames Nathan’s medical woes on the fact that he was born premature, and had neurological problems.

 If Rivas wins his lawsuit Medi-Cal, the state insurer, will have to be reimbursed for the $913,000 it has already paid for Nathan’s care.