Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lawsuit claims mistake by All Children's hospital led to baby's abuse

ST. PETERSBURG — The adoptive parents of a 3-year-old boy are suing All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, saying employees wrongly released the child to his abusive biological parents after birth.

Christopher and Terina Foran say the Pinellas County Child Protection Team had issued a "hold order" to prevent their adopted son from leaving the hospital with his birth mother and father.

The boy later suffered "non-accidental trauma at the hands of his biological parents" that left him disfigured and with permanent neurological and brain damage, according to the lawsuit.

"This is a really tragic case," said Peter Spillis, a South Florida attorney representing the adoptive family. "They knew of the hold, and there is a procedure in the hospital that is supposed to be followed."

All Children's declined to comment on the malpractice suit, which also named four individual employees: social workers Elaine Brown, Nina Bagby and Katherine Lamore, and nurse practitioner Caren Smith.

"All Children's Hospital is unable to comment on active litigation," the hospital said in a statement. "The safety and protection of our pediatric patients is a top priority."

The child at the center of the lawsuit was born Dec. 30, 2012.

Spillis said the baby was delivered at a different hospital in St. Petersburg. But he was transferred to All Children's after his birth mother tested positive for illegal drugs.

The boy was immediately placed under the care of the Pinellas County Child Protection Team, which took steps to ensure he wouldn't go home with his birth mother and father. But on Jan. 15, hospital employees "inappropriately" discharged him, according to the lawsuit.

Spillis said the birth mother and father brought the boy back to the hospital for occasional doctors visits. But he showed up in the hospital May 26 so malnourished that his brain had swollen.

"It resulted in permanent brain damage, partial paralysis of the lower extremities," Spillis said. "He's never going to walk."

The child was later adopted by the Foran family, who filed the lawsuit last week in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court.

The adoptive parents allege the social workers and nurse practitioner should have known the boy's biological parents were incapable of caring for him — and never allowed the pair to take him home.

"They are supposed to make sure the team gets together — the doctors, the nurse practitioners, the social workers — and determine if the child can go home," Spillis said. "That didn't happen."

As a result of their negligence, the child suffered "severe emotional distress, great pain and anguish of the body and mind, disfigurement, loss of earnings and future earning capacity, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, all of which conditions are permanent in nature," according to the suit.

He also needs extensive medical care.

"The most important thing is that this child is looking at a lifetime of therapies and medical care," Spillis said. "That's the number one goal, to get that taken care of."

Contact Kathleen McGrory at kmcgrory@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8330. Follow @kmcgrory.

Lawsuit claims mistake by All Children's hospital led to baby's abuse 02/12/16 [Last modified: Sunday, February 14, 2016 10:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]