Nurse botched resuscitation of choking child, estate alleged
|Negligent Treatment, Medical Malpractice - Nurse, Wrongful Death - Survival Damages|
|Deoraj Ramlochan, as Administrator of the Estate of Karishma Ramlochan, Deceased and Deoraj Ramlochan, Individually v. Sweet P Home Care Inc., Sweet Home Care, Inc. and North Shore University Hospital, No. 24016/09|
|Queens Supreme, NY|
|Robert J. McDonald
- Christine Coscia; Law Office of Robert F. Danzi; Westbury, NY, for Deoraj Ramlochan, Estate of Karishma Ramlochan
- Robert F. Danzi; Law Office of Robert F. Danzi; Westbury, NY, for Deoraj Ramlochan, Estate of Karishma Ramlochan
- Ransford B. McKenzie; The Law Office of Ransford B. McKenzie; Brooklyn, NY, for Sweet P. Home Care Inc., Sweet Home Care Inc., North Shore University Hospital
- None reported; null, null, for North Shore University Hospital
On Jan. 20, 2008, plaintiff's decedent Karishma Ramlochan, a 16-month-old girl, was supervised by a visiting nurse who was employed by Jamaica-based Sweet P Home Care Inc. Karishma suffered insufficiency of her lungs, so she received a continuous supply of oxygen that was provided via a tube that accessed her trachea. During the course of the day, the nurse provided a bottle of formula. The formula entered the child's tube and lungs. After several minutes had passed, the nurse observed that Karishma had stopped breathing. The nurse attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Karishma could not be revived.
Karishma's father, Deoraj Ramlochan, acting individually and as the administrator of Karishma's estate, sued Sweet P Home Care; an affiliated entity, Sweet Home Care Inc.; and the hospital that had provided Karishma's tracheal tube, North Shore University Hospital. The plaintiffs alleged that the nurse failed to perform proper resuscitative maneuvers, that North Shore University Hospital failed to provide a proper tracheal tube, that the failures constituted medical malpractice and that Sweet P Home Care was vicariously liable for the nurse's actions.
Plaintiffs' counsel ultimately discontinued the claim against North Shore University Hospital. The matter proceeded to a trial against Sweet P Home Care.
Plaintiffs' counsel claimed that CPR was not the correct method of resuscitating Karishma. They contended that the tracheal tube was preventing Karishma's receipt of oxygen, and they claimed that the tracheal tube should have been cleared or changed.
Defense counsel did not contest liability.
Karishma suffered asphyxiation caused by the ingestion of vomited material. Plaintiffs' counsel noted that the child choked and gagged throughout the nurse's resuscitative attempts, and they contended that the child experienced eight or nine minutes of pain, suffering and fear of impending death.
Plaintiffs' counsel acknowledged that Karishma required the constant attention of a nurse, but they claimed that she was a happy, healthy child who enjoyed life.
Karishma's estate sought recovery of wrongful-death damages that included $3,200 for the cost of Karishma's funeral and burial and more than $2 million for Karishma's pain and suffering. Karishma's father presented a derivative claim.
Defense counsel contended that Karishma's life was marred by chronic illness, frequent hospitalizations and numerous medical emergencies.
The jury found that the estate's damages totaled $4.5 million, all for Karishma's pain and suffering.
Defense counsel has moved to set aside the verdict.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs' counsel and counsel of Sweet Home Care and Sweet P Home Care. North Shore University Hospital's counsel was not asked to contribute.