Mosaic Life Care has settled a 2015 civil lawsuit involving personal injury malpractice claims for $3.8 million.
The case was filed on behalf of Dawanna Wilkerson and her 3-year-old son, DaSean Christophel, by James R. Bartimus of the law firm of Bartimus Frickleton and Robertson in Leawood, Kansas.
This lawsuit alleged that in October 2013, a pregnant Wilkerson was in labor and came to what was then known as Heartland Regional Medical Center.
The lawsuit claimed records showed her baby had elevated levels of bilirubin at the time of discharge and had lost weight since his birth three days earlier. Four days later, the baby was admitted again and airlifted to Mercy Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Doctors at Mercy Children’s diagnosed the baby with hyperbilirubinemia, a medical condition that can lead to complications resulting in “irreversible neurological damage.”
The lawsuit alleged Dr. Joel Karasek may have failed to notice symptoms of jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia and also accused him of failing to schedule follow-up appointments and prematurely discharging the baby.
The lawsuit claimed the hospital failed through its staff to use the “degree of skill and learning ordinarily used under the same or similar circumstances ...” and failed “to implement and enforce policies and procedures ...”
The lawsuit claimed the baby “suffered severe, permanent, devastating and debilitating injuries.” It also claimed the baby “experienced great physical pain and mental anguish ...”
The lawsuit also claimed the medical failures led to the baby having cerebral palsy. The mother claimed “great mental anguish and emotional distress” and said she will have to pay for future costs involving her son’s medical condition.
The hospital did not admit any guilt in the settlement.
“Cases such as these are often too complex to explain in a news article, but in the interest of our organization, the community and the family involved, all parties mutually agreed to close the matter with a settlement with no liability associated to anyone,” said Michael Rinard, legal department process leader for Mosaic Life Care.
Circuit Judge Randall Jackson issued a final judgement Wednesday, giving the baby two trust funds. One is a special-needs trust of $1 million, and another is an irrevocable special needs trust of some $712,000.
Wilkerson, who lives in St. Joseph with her son, and the boy’s father, Sean Christophel, will receive $450,000.
The law firm was awarded 40 percent of the settlement, totaling some $1.5 million with another $147,000 for expenses associated with the case.
Both parties signed a confidentiality agreement, but Jackson ruled the settlement to be a public record.