Lawsuit against Ascension St. Vincent claims violations led to child’s death

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:40 AM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A complaint has been filed with the U.S. District Court in Evansville on the behalf of eight-year-old Marco Gabriel’s parents.

It claims Marco was seen by a doctor an Ascension St. Vincent Urgent Care September 18.

Lawyers say his parents were told to take him to the emergency room to get an MRI.

They say no testing was done, and Marco was sent home, even though he had symptoms of life-threatening conditions.

Two days later, Marco’s parents took him back to the emergency room.

Lawyers say testing showed he had acute multifocal encephalitis. They say he was sent to a Louisville hospital, but it was too late.

Marco was declared brain dead and died September 22.

The complaint states: “Marco’s illness fell under the general umbrella of auto-immune encephalitis, which is commonly recognized and treated with steroids to reduce inflammation in the brain; and that Ascension-St. Vincent proximately caused Marco’s death primarily by failing to provide an appropriate medical screening examination at the time of the initial visit on Sunday.  Furthermore, it claims that Marco was treated differently than pediatric patients with the same or similar complaints and conditions, due to Marco’s circumstances which may include his Peruvian citizenship and St. Vincent treating him as an uninsured patient.”

Attorney’s with Barnett Law and Chapman Law saw the Federal lawsuit requests a jury trial.

“Marco’s tragic death was entirely preventable, since the disease is easily recognized, treated with steroids, and has a very low mortality rate of 0-3%,” said Attorney George Barnett.

Officials at Ascension tell us they can’t comment on pending litigation.