North Carolina Hospital Sued For Negligence over Child Abuse Injuries

Posted on Nov 22, 2011
A jury in North Carolina has awarded a father and son with $24.8 million in damages following a medical malpractice trial. The jury agreed that a Cumberland County Hospital was negligent when it ignored several signs of child abuse.

According to the Daily Mail, Ajamu Gaines Jr. was living with his mother and her mother's boyfriend in 2003 when he was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. A six-year-old at the time, Gaines visited the emergency room at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center outside of Fayetteville with a broken wrist. When the boy vomited several times during the examination, an X-ray revealed an old rib injury. However, although signs of abuse were observed, the boy was returned home.

Just eleven weeks later, Gaines was brought back to the hospital - this time with a fractured skull, brain bleeding, and a severe head injury. The now-apparent child abuse left the boy a spastic quadriplegic who requires around-the-clock care and who is not able to speak or walk. The abuser was convicted of a misdemeanor while Gaines was sent to live with his father, Ajamu Gaines Sr., a noted former college basketball star. Gaines Sr. has cared for his son for the last eight years. The boy is now 14 years old.

Gaines Sr. believes that the abuse signs should have been reported earlier and that his son should have been removed from the home before the tragic head injury took place.

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