Injuries and disease involving children can be heartbreaking as they may be too young to understand what is happening. With their whole lives ahead of them, it is important for children to receive the best care possible. Unfortunately, some people do not even treat children with the most basic compassion and cause further harm by abusing kids, even in a healthcare setting.
New Kent County Children’s Hospital Lawsuit
The families of 20 children, former patients at a children’s hospital in New Kent County, Virginia, have filed a lawsuit alleging sexual and physical abuse. In a claim for $127 million in damages, the families allege the abuse occurred over about 12 years.
The Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents has been involved in a number of investigations over the years for suspected abuse of patients. A teenager in Florida claimed she was sexually abused by the Medical Director at the facility. The 13-year-old patient was being treated for Cystic Fibrosis. The girl’s mother said she had concerns after her first visit to her child. The girl’s mother said there were concerning drawings in her daughter’s journal, which appeared to show a child calling for help.
Mother’s Disabled Child Suffered Burn Injuries
One of the parents involved has a disabled son who was treated in the hospital. Shannon Haddon was referred to the hospital by another hospital and told it would be a great place for her son, Jackson. The child had suffered a serious brain injury as an infant and had poor cognitive function as a result.
The mother said her first reaction was not good and she did not feel comfortable leaving her child in the care of the hospital. After a stay at the hospital, Haddon received a phone call that her son had broken out with a rash. A review of the medical records showed a nurse asked for cream to put on a reddened area of the neck and chest, with several fluid-filled blisters. The hospital later changed their story and said the child was burned in the shower, suffering 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.
However, the story changed again later when a representative from the hospital disclosed that a Behavior Tech had intentionally heated up water in the break room to intentionally pour it on her son.
Former Nurse Wants the Hospital Shut Down
Even a former nurse with the hospital has spoken out to have the hospital shut down. In a news report, a former RN said to local news that, “people need to know it’s not safe there.” The nurse claims she witnessed multiple occasions of abuse against patients, that the complaints were ignored, and the abusive staff members remained employed at the facility.
There have been more than 30 investigations involving the Cumberland Hospital, including allegations of sexual abuse. Video surveillance showed at least one staff member hit a patient and dragged the patient across the floor.
Long-Term Harm Against Children Abused
The lawsuit alleges the children suffered serious harm as a result of the physical or sexual abuse, including pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), humiliation, sleep disorders, bodily injury, and depression. Young children and children with learning disabilities may not be able to communicate to adults when they are being abused. It is up to the healthcare providers and parents to make sure the children are protected and cared for. If a healthcare professional abuses a child, they should be held accountable.
At Gilman & Bedigian, we are committed to helping patients and families who have suffered at the hands of improper care. To speak with a member of our medical injury team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.