Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital was sued by Maya Kowalski, 17, and her family, for the death of Maya’s mother.
Maya's mother, Beata, committed suicide after the hospital filed a report against the children’s parents.
They were reported to child services because the hospital believed that Beata was suffering from Munchausen by proxy, which is a disorder whereby an individual fakes an illness.
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The hospital believed that Beata was exaggerating Maya’s illness to get more attention from healthcare workers.
After Beata committed suicide, Maya was released and returned home.
The suit against the hospital claimed false imprisonment, battery, medical negligence, fraudulent billing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful death.
There were seven different claims in all by the family, with the hospital being found liable for falsely imprisoning Maya, fraudulently billing her family, and causing them emotional distress.
The jury also found that a social worker, Catherine Bedy, had battered Maya. The jury also ruled that Dr. Sally Smith medically neglected the young girl. Maya was 10 at the time.
The jury awarded the family $211 million in damages in a case that eventually became the subject of a Netflix documentary.
Maya was nine when she first started to get asthma attacks, and the symptoms evolved to the point that her father stated she was “crying 24/7.”
Howard Hunter, the attorney for the hospital, stated, “We thank the jury for their time and attention during this trial and intend to pursue an appeal based on clear and prejudicial errors throughout the trial and deliberate conduct by the plaintiff’s counsel that misled the jury.
“The evidence clearly showed that Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital followed Florida’s mandatory reporting law in reporting suspected child abuse and, when those suspicions were confirmed by the district court, fully complied with Department of Children and Families (DCF) and court orders.”
The hospital will be appealing the decision.