Troubled Children’s Hospital Is Sued Over Toddler Who Died After Surgery



Press Release

We are releasing this information as a response to the numerous inquiries from the press about this case.

This is a case in which multiple physicians – individuals who had devoted their lives to helping sick children, who were among the most vulnerable members of our society – abdicated their fiduciary, legal, and ethical responsibilities to protect those same children. Instead, they chose to protect their own reputational and monetary interests by referring families to UNC’s pediatric cardiology surgery unit, which from 2013-2017 had a higher death rate than nearly all of the 82 institutions nationwide publicly reporting this data. Many of these physicians would not allow their own children to be treated at UNC, and yet they failed to share their grave concerns with their patients’ families. And unlike most other pediatric cardiac surgery programs, UNC refused to share any of its statistics with the public.

Because of these failures, Plaintiffs, parents of young children with heart conditions, were deceived into allowing their gravely ill children to undergo surgery in what was, unknown to them, one of the most dangerous pediatric cardiac surgery programs in the United States. All of their children died. And they should not have. This case is about a physician’s duty to be honest with patients, and to refer them to safe programs if the physicians know that certain hospital programs are not safe and are not successful.

UNC is a valuable asset and institution in the State of North Carolina. Thousands of our citizens rely on the UNC system for health care. UNC has a national reputation of excellence. But UNC lost its way when its pediatric cardiac program was besieged with high mortality and a high complications rate and, instead of doing the right thing—— rooting out and addressing the problems—-UNC ignored, or worse, covered them up.

Our parents and their children were the victims. This is a tragedy that was entirely avoidable. We know that dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of babies and young children died. And they shouldn’t have.

Because of the interest in this case, and others like it, and because these parents have been contacted by national, regional and local media outlets, we plan to hold a live press conference in the coming days where press will be invited to ask questions and seek comment from the Plaintiffs— these parents who lost their children at UNC’s pediatric cardiac surgery program.



Please send an email to lindsay@lileking.com if you’d like to be included on the email announcing details for the live press conference. Put “UNC-include me” in the subject line. Thank you.