Jahi McMath was only seeking help for her sleep apnea in 2013, but complications in her surgery has left her brain-dead since. McMath’s family is now suing the hospital where she went into cardiac arrest for negligence and wrongful death — if “it is determined” that the girl indeed succumbed to her injuries.

During a lengthy legal battle, McMath’s family was granted the right to remove her from the California hospital to a long-term care facility in New Jersey. According to her mother, she can now respond to basic commands and is able to move her hands and feet.

From ABC News:

With a day to go before the statute of limitations runs out, the family is now suing Benioff Children’s Hospital for malpractice and asking for unspecified damages, according to California malpractice attorney Bruce Brusavich. He told ABC News he plans to file the suit today, and that the family has “mixed emotions” about it.

“The mother never had any explanation as to how this happened,” Brusavich said. “But it doesn’t really change anything in terms of the profound brain damage to the child.”

The suit, an advance copy that Brusavich gave to ABC News, alleges that the doctor was negligent because he did not follow the standard of care for treating Jahi’s sleep apnea and instead opted for invasive surgery on Dec. 9, 2013, removing her tonsils, adenoids, soft pallet and uvula as well as doing work on the inside of her nose. The doctor allegedly noted that Jahi might have a malformed carotid artery at the surgical site, which would have put her at risk for life-threatening bleeding, but he didn’t inform the medical staff after he noticed it during surgery , according to the suit.

The family will seek damages, but a dollar figure was not listed on the suit. Brusavich told ABC News that non-economic damages in California cannot exceed $250,000.

The hospital released the following statement to ABC News: “Our hearts go out to the McMath family. It is our policy not to comment on pending litigation.”

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  • acumenata

    >>>According to her mother<<< she can now respond to basic commands and is able to move her hands and feet.

    But yet they refuse to do the one simple set of neurological exam that would prove to the court that she is alive, if she is. Ask yourself why. If this were your child, and you were sure she was alive, why would waste a year doing everything BUT that one test and why would your lawyer get angry and avoid the issue when the press asks him about it?

    And if your goal was to sue the hospital, why would you voluntarily take the MICRA cap on settlements for wrongful death if you could actually prove with one small standardized test that she’s “alive and disabled” as this mother claims?

    It’s all “according to the mother”. No real doctors have examined her for a year. The ones the lawyer trotted out in October did not examine her, and some of those people aren’t licensed (or even trained) to practice medicine.

    It’s all “according to the mother”.

    • Me

      is that neurological exam free? b/c if it ain’t i would guess that the family would rather spend their insurance money & savings on procedures that would actually save the girl’s life instead of tests to prove something they already believe is true. the rest of what you wrote seems to be made up about no real doctors examining her.

    • acumenata

      Not free, but not at all expensive. A fraction of the cost of the scans they’ve done. It’s a simple series of bedside neurological function exams that takes less than a half hour. No special equipment needed. A lot of people reading this have probably have enough cash in their wallets right now to pay for it.

    • Delia

      Please listen to acumenata, they’re on point.

      As a nurse, a neuro exam is a simple noninvasive procedure. It takes no time and very little expense.

      This whole case sickens me. This child is a corpse kept alive by a ventilator and artificial feedings. Unfortunately, the way this case is going, by the time all the artificial interventions are stopped and she passes, the same findings of Terry Schiavo may occur. Terry Schiavo’s autopsy revealed she had a brain weighed half the size it should be. What child and what human being would like to live that way?

      I pray the family allows Jahi do the inevitable: rest in peace!

    • acumenata

      I have to ask, what human being would want to keep their child (or any loved one) in a horriffic state like this, let alone dress them up like a life sized Barbie doll, prop up their body in lifelike positions, post photos of that all over the internet? And even more gobsmacking, what parent would allow strangers to have FaceTime chats with their dead child? Yes, Jahi’s mother has done that, too, and published screenshots of the chat session.

    • Nonya Bizness

      LMFAO. Insurance and savings? Pfft. They have neither, and donations were spent on food, drinks, drugs, shoes, purses, sunglasses etc. It’s all documented on MamaNails IG.

    • She_Wolf

      Concur….I live in the Bay Area, so this was super covered; Something is just not right with the mother and the grandmother. My sympathies go out to the family and Jai, but all surgeries have a risk factor; the only thing I was surprised about was why didn’t the surgeon postpone the surgery until she had lost weight? She was technically considered obese and I feel she would have been a better position to handle the stress of surgery if she had been in a healthier state. Lastly, totally personal for me but I feel that they could have given other children a chance by donating organs instead of keeping her on life support.

    • Nonya Bizness

      Do you remember when it first happened, and Nailah kept repeating that she went to CHO for a second opinion, and they killed Jahi? The first Dr REFUSED to do the surgery, and said Jahi needed to lose weight. MamaNails didn’t have time for that. She needed Jahi to take care of her younger siblings-washing their dishes and ironing their clothes. MamaNails is an opportunist and a scammer, and in the process she killed her child, and now won’t bury her. Jahi deserved better, and Jordyn, the younger sister, deserved for her Kindergarten graduation to be about her, but No, MamaNails had to airbrush Jahi crap all over Jordyn’s cap and gown. I just want her to go away, w her wanting Jahi declared alive, so she can get her Medi-Cal back.

    • She_Wolf

      Thank you for clarifying that! I actually did not know a previous doctor refused to surgery because of her weight. It is a shame that her death could have been completely preventable.

    • acumenata

      Yes, Nailah talked a lot early on about this being the second (or perhaps third) doctor she’d shopped for to find a solution for Jahi’s problems. It’s extensive surgery. It’s unlikely any doctor (including this one) would have suggested it without also discussing the risks. The consent forms you have to sign for any surgery go over that again. The big question is how well Nailah considered or even absorbed that. She seems to disconnect her ears early in any conversation when she’d decided she wants something. I’m not implying she or anyone is at fault. Unexpected things can happen after any kind of surgery. It might be no one’s fault. But this one-sided story they’ve been throwing to the press for over a year, in which they get to accuse CHO of murder and CHO isn’t allowed to speak, is way below the belt. It’s an ugly way to fight in any circumstance.

    • Nonya Bizness

      Exactly, and the mother is a liar. Last year Sandra Chatman, the grandmother, said that her and Jahi’s stepdad were suctioning blood, and “they don’t work there. That’s not their responsibility.” Now all of a sudden she wasn’t even there, she had to be called in from home(lies), and nothing was done until she called for a Code. Let’s not forget about the father of a patient that heard the family giving Jahi pieces of a Big Mac AFTER the nurse told her that she could’t have a popsicle. This tragedy occurred because Nailah fed her child instead of taking care of her. She died because she was overweight, and the mom STILL couldn’t stop feeding her, even after she just had throat surgery. Then we have the donations that were spent on Michael Kors, expensive meals, lean, etc. This family is disgusting.

    • Delia

      A mess smh…I can see how a family that goes against medical advice and instructions by medical personnel can cause detrimental results. Things such as feeding solid foods before the proper time can not only cause the clot formed from the surgery to dislodge and lead to hemorrhaging, but can lead to an increased risk of aspiration as well. Frequent suctioning can also lead to the clot dislodgment if not done carefully by medical personnel. It should have been done by the nurses and other medical personnel because that also helps assess how much blood is actually being lost.

    • acumenata

      Their relationship with the truth is incredibly fluid. They also talk a lot and say things in the heat of the moment. Anyone who follows this would have to be sleeping to not notice when they contradict previous statements. They must be a lawyer’s nightmare.

      I keep trying to discourage people from repeating it. Until a named individual is called as a witness and testifies that they saw someone feed her, we have to consider it rumor. The verifiable facts of this case are incriminating enough, even without that.

      For the record: I watched the Cheesburger story unfold and become something it wasn’t in the comments section on one of the Bay Area news stories. It was during the first week, hortly after this hit the press in 2013. It’s true that there was a comment by someone who said their child was in the CHO PICU on the day day of the bleeding incident. His only statement, though, was that there were way too many people visiting Jahi, and they were coming in and out like it was a party. He complained about them bringing in bags of McDonalds food, being loud, and disturbing other patients and their families. Another person (not the original poster) replied with a snarky comment about Jahi’s weight; something along the lines of, “Look at the size of her. They probably fed her a Big Mac as soon as she woke up from surgery.” From there, the conversation became a dispute about whether or not there was a even a McDonalds near CHO. The thread ended when someone posted a Google Maps link showing that there is.

      By the next day, people all over the internet were saying they heard that the family fed her a cheeseburger. I’ve been trying to counteract that for a long time, because supporters of this so often use it as an excuse to discount everything else reasonable people say about why this case is so messed up.

  • PrimmestPlum

    Removal of tonsils, adenoids, soft pallet, uvula AND nasal surgery? All for the treatment of sleep apnea? That’s hella invasive and seemingly unnecessary.

    Adenoidectomy and tonsilectomy, I can understand. But all of those other procedures? On such a young patient. That’s excessive.

    • acumenata

      She evidently had some structural anomalies that were obstructing her airways. The number one cause of childhood sleep apnea is congenital defect that makes breathing difficult. For example, extremely large tonsils that almost touch each other, and tissue/bone structure that blocks the flow of air in the nasal passages. Also, contrary to the case with adults, childhood sleep apnea often contrubutes to childhood obesity rather than the other way around. Growing children need more food than adults, but lethargy caused by sleep apnea can cause them to pack on pounds. That said, this was elective surgery.

    • Nonya Bizness

      Well Nailah could have not overfed her child to death, and this would’t even be an issue. The Dr that did the surgery was the SECOND Dr Jahi saw for her sleep apnea. The first Dr refused to do surgery, and told Nailah that Jahi needed to lose weight. So, Nailah got a second opinion,went with the surgery, now wants to act brand new like we don’t remember her rants over the last year.Don’t believe the lies of the ScamFam.

  • kj1986nyc

    technically you shouldn’t be able to sue hospitals. America is only a few countries in the world were people can do this

    • ALM247

      Why not? People go to the hospital for a treatment or surgery and sometimes they end up worse off. Are you aware of the incident in which Grant Hill went to the hospital for a simple ankle surgery, and then he contracted staph and almost died?! I’m not a big sports fan, and I still remember that article.

    • acumenata

      Mistakes do happen, that’s for sure. And some of them are preventable and should be prosecuted. Unfortunately in America, the lure of big punitive damages payouts and people’s general propensity to want every hunt to have a witch makes for a lot of frivolous lawsuits. At the end of the day, we all pay for that.