Kowalski Family Lawsuit: Sickness Turns to Tragedy

Have you seen  “Taking Care of Maya”? It is the tale that reveals the painful consequences when efforts to protect children backfire and cause lasting harm. It is the true story based on Kalwoski’s life incidents. Moreover, Maya Kowalski’s heartbreaking story exposes the devastating consequences of false child abuse accusations.

After a jury trial, the Maya family was awarded a verdict that resulted in damages exceeding $261 million. Let’s examine the Kowalski family lawsuit and the significance of the trial’s verdict.

Who is Maya?

The family of Maya Kowalski, the girl featured in “Take Care of Maya,” won over $200 million in a lawsuit against Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. They claimed that Maya’s mother, Beata Kowalski, tragically committed suicide as a result of the hospital’s mishandling of Maya.

The documentary focuses on Maya’s family’s efforts to regain custody. Previously, the hospital had obtained a state order to remove Maya from their care. Beata’s suicide came after months of being kept from seeing Maya. Maya’s father emphasized the importance of parental rights in making decisions about their children’s care. He stated:

“Parents have rights, and they make the decisions.”

Kowalski Family Lawsuit

What Happened to Maya?

You all would definitely want to know what actually happened with Maya. This is a story from 2019 when it was found out that Maya has CRPS. You’ll be surprised to know that Maya was only 10 years old at that time. She was taken to All Children’s Hospital for severe abdominal pain. She stayed there for three months. Moreover, she underwent numerous medical procedures and received various medications.

Physicians in the hospital suspected Maya’s mother of abusing her. They reported this suspicion to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). After that, Maya was confined in the hospital and kept apart from her family following a court order. Unexpectedly, doctors also suspected that Maya’s symptoms might be attributed to Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP). According to Maya’s complaint, she did not exhibit classic signs of Multiple Sclerosis.

A second evaluation suggested Maya had CRPS instead of the abuse suspect. Maya continued receiving MSP treatment despite this setback. Moreover, she was isolated from her family and denied access to a therapist.

Maya experienced significant emotional trauma as a result of her hospital stay. On the other hand, Beata was deeply troubled by the claims. However, Maya’s mother denied abusing her. As a result, she tragically took her own life in January 2017.

Sadly,  she experienced worsening symptoms because of restricted visitations. The hospital followed the instructions from the Florida Dependency Court. The court believed there may have been medical child abuse. It was assumed that the actions of the hospital and authorities had a profound impact on Maya and her family. Hence, leading to tragic outcomes.

Kowalski Family Lawsuit

The Kowalski case was brought to the court in Florida. The argument was that Maya and Beata were profoundly affected by the hospital’s actions. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital said, “They didn’t make any mistakes.” They stated that they performed some necessary medical procedures.

The hospital further claimed that Maya’s condition was not due to their treatment but because of her illness. They also denied keeping Maya away from her family. Furthermore, they argued against conducting any unnecessary experiments on her. They even debated that her mother’s suicide was not because of them. In fact, they went so far as to absolve themselves of any blame.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital insisted that they followed Florida law. Furthermore, they stated that they have reported suspected abuse to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). They also stated that they complied with court orders. Their cunningness clearly emphasized the importance of mandatory reporting to protect vulnerable children.

It was reported that Beata saw Maya for the first time after Maya was hospitalized in January 2017. Beata claimed that Maya was worse than before, as she now used a wheelchair. Tragically, she took her own life less than two days later. The court eventually released Maya into her father’s custody. The verdict of the jury was interpreted as support for the family’s hardship. The hospital intended to file an appeal of the ruling, postponing payment until the case was resolved.

Family’s Fight Against Hospital Negligence

The hospital’s attorney explained that they did not settle to uphold the importance of reporting suspected child abuse by law. Before the trial, the judge ruled that the hospital could not be held responsible for the state’s decision to shelter Maya or for reporting Beata to the abuse hotline.

Maya spoke during the trial about how her caregivers made her feel ashamed and ignored her complaints. She added that medical professionals had led her to believe she and her mother were sick. A former hospital administrator spoke about the hospital’s board and its inadequate oversight. He also addressed the culture of retaliation against whistleblowers in the hospital.

The family made the jury believe that the hospital’s actions led to Beata’s suicide. But the hospital didn’t agree. They wanted to appeal, saying they followed the rules. Their lawyer was getting ready to appeal. He said the other side’s lawyer messed up and did tricky things. Greg Anderson, the family’s main lawyer, doubted the hospital’s reasons. He didn’t like their argument, saying it was based on changing what really happened.

Kowalski Family Lawsuit

Final Verdict

Fortunately, the hospital suffered a significant defeat as the jury found it guilty on all seven claims. The jury awarded the Kowalski family $261 million in damages, citing negligence in Maya’s treatment as the cause of her mother’s death.

They determined that the hospital did not properly investigate Maya’s condition, prematurely concluding that Beata abused her. What makes it even more horrible? Maya lacked emotional support and was isolated from her family. Maya’s attorneys also alleged a disturbing incident of assault during her hospital stay. A man allegedly exposed and stared at her, causing distress.

You might think Maya received swift justice. That’s not the case. Unfortunately, the judge ruled against her claim, citing potential delays. After that, a separate case was filed centered on the alleged assault. The charges included assault, battery, and intentional infliction. Alternatively, it involved premises liability and negligent security.

It was noticed that people talked about how Maya was kept isolated during the trial. She didn’t have a name outside her room. It shows how alone she was and how the hospital didn’t take care of her properly, even in small ways.

Read also: Humans of Bombay Lawsuit

Wrap Up

The moral of the story is to never leave your kids unattended. A real-life illustration of this is the Kowalski Family Lawsuit. The struggle with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital served as the foundation for the story. After reading this article, we learned that the family was awarded a substantial payout of $261 million. But they had to pay a very heavy price for this. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of holding establishments accountable. If you have experienced a similar incident in your life, please share it with us so that we can learn from it.

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