GILMER — Two lawsuits filed involving Truman W. Smith Children’s Care Center reached settlements.
The mothers of two special needs children — who died weeks apart — sued the hospital last March in separate lawsuits alleging negligence.
Attorneys for both mothers settled with Nexium Health at Truman Inc., the parent company of the hospital, in June, according to Upshur County District Clerk’s records.
Records indicate that no court hearings were ever held in the matter. Terms of the settlement were not released.
Dolly Connor of Perry County, Arkansas, and Jazlynn Lujan of Harris County filed the two civil suits alleging that both of their children received catastrophic injuries two years ago while under the facility’s care and later died.
According to Lujan’s lawsuit, her 2-year-old son was born with respiratory complications and was admitted to Truman W. Smith for rehab in September 2015. Because of his condition, the child required a ventilator and tracheostomy tube to breathe.
On March 15, 2017, he was found unresponsive by care center staff after they failed to respond to an alarm indicating that the boy was unable to breathe, and the lack of oxygen resulted in brain death, according to the suit. After several weeks on life support in a vegetative state, he died April 15, 2017.
Two weeks after Lujan’s son was found unresponsive, Connor’s 7-year-old son was found unresponsive after his trach tube became dislodged and no one responded to the alarm, according to Connor’s lawsuit. The lack of oxygen resulted in brain death, and his family made the decision to withdraw life support on March 30, 2017.
Both lawsuits sought damages for past medical, funeral and burial expenses, past and future financial and companionship losses as well as future mental anguish and pre- and post-judgment interest.