1. Investigations

Family settles for $2.3 million over All Children’s heart surgery death

It is the first settlement to become public. Others are expected.
Johns Hopkins All Children‘s Hospital. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Jun. 28
Updated Jun. 28

A family whose daughter died after a 2018 heart transplant at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has settled a legal claim with the hospital for $2.35 million, according to state records.

The payment was made in May, six months after a Tampa Bay Times investigation found an alarming number of surgical deaths in the hospital’s Heart Institute. Children died after heart surgery at a higher rate than at any other program in Florida in the last decade.

[ Read the investigation: Johns Hopkins promised to elevate All Children’s Heart Institute. Then patients started to die at an alarming rate. ]

The health system disclosed to investors in February that it was negotiating with 11 families following the Times story. It added it would be “admitting our liability in most cases.”

The $2.35 million settlement is the first payment that All Children’s has reported to the state related to the heart unit’s recent problems. Records show the family’s counsel was paid about $200,000 of the total.

The law firm investigating All Children’s filed its report. The hospital will make big changes.

The hospital declined to comment about the specific case. Johns Hopkins Health System president Kevin Sowers said in an interview Thursday, “We made a mistake, and we need to make sure we help support these families and make it right.”

Sowers said the hospital’s liability insurance would cover the settlement.

An internal review by the hospital had found six children had died after being harmed by medical care in its Heart Institute. A spokeswoman said five of those cases were reported in the Times investigation.

The date of the transplant listed in the state report matches one of the cases detailed in the Times’ investigation. The family declined to comment.

[ Click here to read all of the Times’ coverage of All Children‘s Heart Institute ]


  1. Seven-year-old Sriyam Sriadibhatla, who suffers from B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, waits for chemotherapy at Palm Beach Children's Hospital in West Palm Beach. Susan Stocker
    A look inside his machine, which turns charitable and political contributions into paydays.
  2. State regulators plan to fine Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg a total of more than $800,000. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The planned $800,000 penalty is the latest fallout from problems in the hospital’s heart surgery department.
  3. Rosana Escamilla gives her daughter Alexcia tiny pieces of food to taste in their home in August 2018. Alexcia was left paralyzed after a heart surgery at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital. The details of her case match the public filing of a $12.75 million settlement the hospital recently signed with a family. EVE EDELHEIT  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The hospital has been negotiating with 11 families; some were struggling to afford the immense cost of care.
  4. EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN   |   Times 
(03/19/2009) In the woods not far from the current Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, up a dirt road, and up a hill is a small cemetery with 31 unmarked graves. Some of the White House Boys think the bodies of children murdered by guards at the Florida School for Boys are buried in the cemetery. Some of the graves can be attributed to students killed in a 1914 fire. Others can be attributed to a flu epidemic that swept the campus, but not all are accounted for.
    Read the classic Tampa Bay Times story that exposed a dark chapter of Florida history.
  5. Johns Hopkins All Children‘s Hospital. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
    It is the first settlement to become public. Others are expected.
  6. Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The investigation was commissioned by the board of Johns Hopkins Medicine, which runs the hospital, following a Times investigation into fatal problems in All Children’s heart surgery unit.
  7. Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg.  (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
    Outside physicians will now be allowed to inspect Florida heart surgery programs. The change follows problems at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
  8. In their political afterlife, former politicians and their staffers are hoarding unspent campaign donations for years and using them to finance their lifestyles, advance new careers and pay family members, an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, 10News WTSP and TEGNA-owned TV stations found.
    The federal agency sent letters to politicians across the country Wednesday, asking why they were still spending money on campaigns that were long over. The review followed a Times/WTSP investigation.
  9. Screenshot of the New York Times investigation
    Problems at Johns Hopkins All Children’s have brought the risks of children’s heart surgery — and the vastly different care some institutions provide — to the forefront in Tampa Bay.
  10. The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland  [NEIL BEDI | Times]
    The decline was $31.7 million — 70 percent of the system’s total — compared to the first quarter last year.