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]
Johns Hopkins All Children‘s Hospital. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published June 28, 2019|Updated June 28, 2019

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.

Related: 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 ]