Hospital staff inappropriately care for a patient after an asthma attack, leaving her with permanent injuries. She is awarded $110.6 Million.
Keimoneia Redish, 48, a New York mother of five and grandmother, was recently awarded $110.6 million in a malpractice lawsuit against St. Barnabas Hospital and several physicians over their care of a 2010 asthma attack that triggered a massive brain injury. The incident kept Redish hospitalized and in a nursing home for nearly a year and a left her with lifelong speech and motor issues after the attack. Redish argued doctors failed to consider transferring her to another facility with more advanced care options to assist with the buildup of carbon dioxide as a result of her asthma attack.
Her attorney, Richard Gurfein, said his client’s lawsuit “centered around the hospital’s poor decision to properly treat her. “She was an amazing mom, the vice president of the PTA,” Gurfein said. “She was the center of the family.”
“I was angry,” she said of what happened. “But I put it aside. I came to the reality. I have to deal with it.” When she heard the verdict, she was shocked. Redish said, “I felt numb. I’ve been fighting for so long.”
Earlier this year, St. Barnabas Hospital was in court after medical personnel let a woman take a stranger she thought was her brother off of life support. The woman, 48-year-old Shirell Powell, didn’t realize it was not her sibling until she had already made her decision. The defense argued that the facility should not be held responsible for the mix-up because neither Powell nor her sibling was a patient there, and Powell should have been able to properly identify whether or not the man was a family member.
Powell alleged in a lawsuit against the hospital told her that her brother, Frederick Williams, had been admitted to St. Barnabas in July 2018 after a drug overdose. She sat vigil by her brain-dead “brother’s” hospital bed for nine days and eventually had him taken off life support. After it was already too late, she was told that the man was actually Freddy Clarence Williams, a patient of a similar build with similar features. Her brother had been in jail during that time.
“He couldn’t speak from the time they brought him in the hospital. They just assumed it was my brother,” Powell explained. She acknowledged the first time her sister saw the ailing man, she questioned whether it was their brother, but his physical disposition made it difficult to tell.
“She walked up into the room and said, ‘That is not my brother,’” Powell recalled. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’” In hindsight, she feels she should have noticed a difference and admitted, “The guy was much bigger.”
But he looked to be swollen from his injuries and “the eyebrows, the nose, the structure — it looked like [our] brother,” Powell said. “My sister, she walked up closer, and you could see the resemblance, and she was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ To actually stand over him and watch this man take his last breath…sometimes I can’t even talk about it because I get upset and start crying. On the one hand, I’m thankful that it wasn’t [my brother]. On the other hand, I killed somebody that was a dad or a brother.”