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Doctor Sues Hospital for Daughter's Substandard Care

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San Marino, CADr. Angelique Campen did some serious soul searching before she decided to sue the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for delivering substandard care to her infant daughter. "It took her a long time to gather the strength to bring this medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her child because she is a practicing physician," says Dr. Campen's lawyer, Diane Corwin. "The potential fallout from the medical community makes it hard to bring a lawsuit like this."

Dr. Angelique Campen's daughter Paris was born premature and was still in the neo-natal unit five weeks later. On the evening of February 3, 2004, Dr. Angelique Campen noticed that her baby was showing signs of distress. Paris's heart rate was extremely slow and at times she actually stopped breathing. She was lethargic and had a floppy muscle tone.

Dr. Campen was alarmed, but the staff in the neo-natal center attributed the symptoms to the anesthetic used when a catheter was removed a few days before. "Paris was telling the staff there was something wrong but she wasn't heard," says Corwin. "And additionally, Dr. Campen, who was there and observed these symptoms, was marginalized and was not heard."

Paris had developed a serratia bacterial infection, a hospital infection that can be particularly aggressive in newborns, but has an excellent prognosis if treated as an emergency. Despite Dr. Campen's protests and the stacks of literature about infection risks and newborns, it was 11 hours before Paris was treated with antibiotics.

In the meantime, toxins did irreversible damage to the baby's brain.

"It is hard to believe it happened," says Corwin. "What Dr. Campen was articulating was supported by all the literature and even by the testimony of the defense experts."

Cedars-Sinai argued that administering antibiotics to infants before all an infection of this type is confirmed by lab tests is dangerous to the baby and can encourage antibiotic-resistant superbugs that endanger the lives of other patients. Although the hospital fought the suit at every turn, the jury confirmed Dr. Campen's belief that delayed diagnosis and treatment did harm to her baby and ordered the hospital to pay damages amounting to $7,379,566.

Paris, who is now attending school, needs special care and a teacher-aid. Her intelligence is described as low or dull average. Her best hope for the future is employment at a sheltered workshop.

Corwin, who frequently acts in medical malpractice suits, says the outcome of the case would have been the same even if Dr. Campen had not been present when her daughter became ill. "The baby was telling the staff what was wrong and where to look and she was ignored. The fact that the mother was a doctor and was in the neonatal unit as the baby's eyes and ears is just further evidence of negligence."

Diane Corwin is the principle at Diane Corwin Law. She is a trial lawyer with over 25 years experience representing individuals and families involved in medical malpractice, personal injury, business litigation, wrongful death and product liability, real estate fraud and breach of contract cases. She believes in personal attention to each client.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
So interesting to read about your dealings with "Dr." Campen, Jennifer. I, too, suffering from liver failure, went in for an emergency paracentisis. And I was told by her, accompanied by her shrugging her shoulders and rolling her eyes, that I wasn't an emergency and she didn't have to treat me if she didn't want to. I was sent away. Two days later, my non-emergency condition saw me admitted to LAC+USC for more than a month. I was not expected to live (not tha Campen cared one way or the other). Somehow, my team of doctors got some function back in my kidneys, which had now failed.

I have spent almost two years dealing with doctors and nurses at three different hospitals. I have not encountered one bad apple. Except for the shrugging, eye rolling Campen.

If you ever find yourself in her care--make a change. Not only is she a reprehensible doctor, she is a world class HORRIBLE person.

I could have died because of her. I will never forget this. And I hope this disgusting b*tch gets exactly what she deserves.

Posted by

on
This story is so ironic! I was just searching the internet to find an email address for Dr. Campen as she backed her staff at Providence Saint Joe's in Burbank for doing the exact same thing to me! Her staff sent me home after being brought in w/ light/sirens via ambulance w/ migraine and vomiting! I kept telling her staff something was really wrong, but they gave me a shot of pain killer and an Imitrex and then told me to get up and get dressed as they needed the room for sick people! TWICE! I kept telling them something was wrong! They kicked me out! I followed up w/ my doctor who immediately sent me for a CAT scan where they found the bleed on my brain. I ended up in ICU at UCLA and having emergency brain surgery to insert drains in my head as my brain had shifted! I told St. Joe's about it who referred this matter to Dr. Campen who then wrote me a letter backing her staff! She had the luxury of being a doctor and having money to hire a lawyer to make sure that something like this doesn't happen to other kids. I don't have the money, had to rely on her incompetent staff telling me it was just a bad headache (in which every doctor that treated me told me St Joe's just assumed I was chasing drugs) and so many people have died from this and I was lucky. And for her to back their play! Amazing! This is just amazing.

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