At the beginning of January, two doctors- with more than a decade of medical experience between them- filed a lawsuit in Douglas County court (Nebraska) against the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, its chief administrator, and one of its surgeons, after an operating room tragedy.
“In the complaint, Dr. Mark Puccioni, a pediatric neurosurgeon, and plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Miller expressed concerns” 1about Dr. Conley’s performance and alleged that the hospital, its CEO and president Dr. Richard G. Azizkhan, and Dr. Conley disparaged their reputations.
Please see Channel 7’s video which confirms all surgeons quit.
According to the plaintiffs, when they expressed concern to administrators at Children’s Hospital (which included the CEO) about the skills and competency of Dr. Conley’s operation on a 7-month-old, they were retaliated against. Their lawyer said:
“Dr. Miller and Dr. Puccioni complained of absolute malpractice that caused the unnecessary death of a child. Children’s had a monetary interest in protecting that physician.
Two days later, Dr. Miller and Dr. Puccioni are suspended. They certainly went to the administration, and of course you have to understand Dr. Puccioni had already raised concerns before this child’s death.”2
But rather than stand by the children, Children’s Hospital said,
“Children’s Hospital & Medical Center does not comment on pending litigation other than to say we strongly disagree with these allegations. We stand behind our executive leadership, medical team and our processes, and are confident that these claims against our hospital, Dr. Azizkhan and Dr. Conley will be proven to be without merit.
We are also saddened by the manner in which this family’s tragic loss has been utilized by the plaintiffs in this litigation. We have spoken with the family to express our shock with the way this extremely personal and painful situation has been publicized.”3
That’s sad because as one local told us, which we confirmed, “The lawsuit states that during surgery the surgeon lost control of the bleeding caused by the incision he made and poured a ‘significant’ amount of hydrogen peroxide in the cranium. The lawsuit states that this is not an acceptable surgery practice. Local news reported that the administrator is named in 500+ lawsuits at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.”
There is no word from the family about how they feel about the lawsuit.
We will update you when more information becomes available.