A Washington state family whose toddler suffered a spinal cord injury has agreed to a $10 million settlement with the defendants in the case, MultiCare Health System and Pediatrics Northwest. According to the initial medical malpractice lawsuit, the child became partially paralyzed after having received a chemotherapy injection in her spine.
According to the child’s mother, Chante Ramirez, the medical procedure that caused the spinal cord injury happened in 2017, the day after she took her first steps. The child, identified in the lawsuit as J.L., is now paraplegic and is now expected to be wheelchair dependent for the rest of her life.
Filing Details How Cancer Treatment Caused Child’s Spinal Cord Injury
According to the filings submitted in the spinal cord injury lawsuit, J.L. was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was only a few months old. She began receiving chemotherapy at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, including a scheduled injection when she was 13 months old, on August 3rd, 2017. Her mother noted that her response to the drug was different from previous injections and that she was fussy and had not been moving her legs much. Upon evaluation, the child was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury that had caused paraplegia.
A family representative explained, “Plaintiff’s experts and J.L.’s treaters are all in agreement that the lumbar puncture was performed higher than customary and most likely done at the T12-L1 level. The infant spinal cord extends well past the T12-L1 level and well past even an adult spinal cord making this a very dangerous area to put a needle and a clear violation of the standard of care.”
Following the settlement, the facility issued a statement saying, “We at MultiCare extend our sincere sympathy to the Ramirez family in this difficult situation, and we are so very sorry for their experience. Because of patient privacy, we cannot discuss the specifics of this situation.”