Memorial Pays $700,000 Settlement to Injured Child of Undocumented Immigrant

Daniel Chacon, The Gazette (Colorado Springs), July 6, 2011

City-owned Memorial Health System paid $700,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico whose baby allegedly suffered severe brain injuries during delivery four years ago.

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An attorney for Maria Gallardo, who sued the city of Colorado Springs and the United States of America for medical malpractice last year, said the amount Memorial paid could have been a lot higher.

“The hospital settlement was only for the baby, not for the mother,” Springs attorney William Fischer said Wednesday. He said the mother’s window of opportunity to file a claim on her own behalf under the Government Immunity Act had closed by the time she had filed. She has until her child’s 18th birthday to file a claim on behalf of the baby, he said.

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Fischer said the settlement with Memorial concerns only the hospital’s nursing staff. To pursue a claim against the doctor, he said, Gallardo will turn her attention to the federal government.

Dr. Jeffery McCutcheon, who delivered Gallardo’s baby at Memorial Hospital, works for Peak Vista Community Health Centers. Peak Vista is, in government parlance, a Federally Qualified Health Center. As such, “Defendant USA, in operating PVCHC, is required to provide reasonable and appropriate care and treatment of its patients,” the lawsuit states.

Fischer said a trial date is scheduled to be set soon, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is defending the federal government, asked Fischer and his co-counsel, Michael Goodman of Denver, to submit a settlement offer.

Still, “we’re preparing to go to trial,” he said.

According to the lawsuit , filed in U.S. District Court in Denver:

On Feb. 11, 2007, Gallardo was admitted to Memorial Hospital for planned induction of labor and delivery of her daughter, Dulce Rodriguez-Gallardo.

Gallardo claimed that Memorial nurses and McCutcheon “fell below the standard of care” when they failed to, among other things, properly interpret fetal heart monitoring strips that showed the baby in distress during labor.

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The nurses summoned McCutcheon about 15 times, “but the doctor just wanted to continue and let her have the baby naturally,” Fischer said.

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Dulce was born with severe brain injuries “as a direct and proximate” result of medical negligence, the lawsuit states.

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Fischer said Gallardo, who still lives in Colorado Springs, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who plans to continue to live in Colorado Springs.

“The baby is a citizen because it was born here,” he said.

Despite being an undocumented immigrant, Gallardo has rights, Fischer said.

“The mother and the baby are still entitled to medical treatment within the standard of care, whether they’re a tourist here, whether they’re here undocumented, no matter what,” he said. “As a human being, they’re entitled to proper medical care.”

Fischer said the baby’s father was deported to his native Mexico, though he said he did not know when.

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  • Anonymous

    Firstly, Memorial is a GAWD_ AWFUL hospital. I know personally of terrible treatment of patients. One story in particular would simply stupefy you.

    I would fear for my life there.

    My prayers to the poor baby and family.

    And hopes they repatriate.

    It’s all sad.

  • Anonymous

    So some illegal alien invades our country. Gets free healthcare, and then when it doesn’t meet some arbitrary standard, sues and gets even more money?

  • SKIP

    I guess this is what these doctors, nurses and hospitals deseerve for offering (being forced to actually) any medical help to these worthless ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS. If Ms. Obamuslim was on their board of directors, they would not have to deal with any indigent people to start with.

  • SF Paul

    “Despite being an undocumented immigrant, Gallardo has rights, Fischer said.” She has the right to commit a crime by entering the USA illegally, get free healthcare, free welfare, free food,free housing and then stay in the USA because her child is a citizen. She also has the right to have both of them be supported by American taxpayers for the rest of their lives. She and her child will never pay taxes into the system, but the system will always support them. Deportation? Not a chance. America is still the land of opportunity for some people.

  • Anonymous

    Its good to know that white men like William Fischer and his co-counsel Michael Goodman along with the white judge and white court reporter are doing the right thing by suing the city of Colorado Springs and the United States of America for medical malpractice last year.

    The first installment of the multi-tiered settlement, $700,000 will be divided approximately as follows; plaintiff’s lawyer (Fischer) $225,000 plus $125,000 for litigation expenses. Expert testimony and additional medical services $150,000. Court costs $150,000.

    Remaining funds to the plaintiff Maria Gallardo $50,000.

    This is how the feds buy off the legal system.

    It works every time.

    Its sooo funny.

  • Guiltlessman

    “as a human being, they are entitled to proper medical care.”

    -at who’s expense?

  • June

    Looks like the second case of “misjustice” this week. What a travesty! We know Mexico would never have paid for the child. Illegals are smart enough to know that if they can get past the BP, they’ve got it made.

  • Ben

    Things happen in life, it is sometimes sad but always true.

    Now Pedro and Maria who were probably there robbing America of Free Medical Care has sued and won an amount equal to what they would have earned together had they lived for 800 years.

    First they steal the services then they sue if not satisfied, something is very wrong with this picture,

  • [email protected]

    The parents should not have been allowed into the hospital. Only people that are legally in our OR ANY country should be allowed ANY access to medical care.

    As a demonstration of my dedication to color blind ideals, I am willing to stipulate that Americans who are illegally invading another nation as well as “white” illegals here also should NOT be given any access to medical care.

    There is as much human misery and suffering that is caused by the purposeful obfuscation of the “anti”s as any evil that can be attributed to Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia.

    Life is a game and we’ve forgotten how to play it.

  • Reginald P

    Let me guess, they had no insurance, and never intended to pay a dime for the medical service, yet have the gall to complain about an accident that occurred during an act of utmost charity to them. In a sane world, they never would’ve been in the US in the first place.

  • Southern Hoosier

    I wonder how much prenatal care she had or even if she knows what prenatal care is. $700,000 would take care of the child for life or it could pay to to bring a lot more illegals into the country.

  • Anonymous

    @1 Anon,

    >>

    Firstly, Memorial is a GAWD_ AWFUL hospital.

    >>

    So will they all be if we don’t put a stop to runaway Schweizerian conditions by which nobody can have decent medical care because ALL must have ‘the same as some’ care.

    I doubt seriously if Mz. Gallardo would have been better off in Mexico where, as an indigent, the Doctor would have -also- refused her expensive and potentially dangerous (to the mother) inducement drugs. Drugs which essentially emulate the bile the baby’s lungs should cough up on their own, a bile so strong that it causes massive abdominal cramping to begin the labor process.

    We desperately need to opt out of the government-runs-it-so-it-must-be-corrupt professional medical environment by contracting the best young docs right out of med school (think Joel Fleischer) to private clinics serving bedroom communities.

    Trading leverage on their enormous medical bills for a house and say 5-7 years internship under a sponsoring specialist they can do their post-grad workup with.

    Network these community clinics together to take advantage of bulk drug buying and medical equipment cross useage as well as brain trust experienced doctors in several fields.

    Contracting emergency services on an annual basis with specific ERs.

    Establish some kind of long term (more than ‘annual checkup’) health partnership with the community so that the docs are busy, year round.

    And remove or limit malpractice coverage to purely those circumstances of extreme negligence resulting in further needs for compensatory care (since we are essentially suing ourselves otherwise…). Criminal law exists to remove incompetence from fiduciary fields. Civil litigation exists to make Lawyer’s rich.

    Do this NOW (before Obamacare APACA destroys our right to buy what we can afford) and we play the medical game by House Rules which can deny to anyone anything when they are not part of the community.

    >>

    My prayers to the poor baby and family.

    And hopes they repatriate.

    It’s all sad.

    >>

    Why live on 700,000 in Mexico when you could live just as well (far more safely) here for the same amount?

    In the days of Sparta, badly deformed or disabled children were cast off of cliffs that their deaths might be quick and painless compared to the shame and lifelong drudgery inherited by the parents as continual care of severely damaged children.

    IMO, given we have drugs that would make it painless, it would be more merciful to the child to not make her live an entire life filled with random sensory inputs of a baby or very young child and the instincts and drives of a mature adult which could never link up or grow into anything.

    Add reproduction to this and you end up with a situation by which less than 4% of this nation’s mentally retarded are responsible for 30% of it’s next generation of retarded or disabled.

    I’m sorry but it makes no sense at all to devote 700,000 dollars to the care of someone who is never going to be able to care for themselves when you could have another child and give them the upbringing, education and love that would make them truly have a chance at success in their own life.

  • Anonymous

    And I had always though that you had to, at the very least, purchase a ticket in order to win the lotto..?

  • Jack

    “As a human being, they’re entitled to proper medical care.”

    Nope. They are entitled only to what they pay for.

    Being a criminal she should have been deported immediately, period.

    “…lawsuit filed by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico whose baby allegedly suffered severe brain injuries…”

    How would you know? I can’t imagine much difference.

  • SKIP

    “I’m sorry but it makes no sense at all to devote 700,000 dollars to the care of someone who is never going to be able to care for themselves”

    Does anyone seriously expect any care to be given to the child? They will return to Mexico (for a while) where the baby will meet an “accident” and be killed OR it will simply be buried by the side of the road like so many other Mexicans and Americans are and the “parents” will live happily ever after IN COLORADO!

  • Mr.White

    Since when is having an anchor baby considered emergency medical care? Illegal invaders should be required to pay up front for all medical care received, and they most certainly should not have access to our tort system!

    All hospitals should be required to report illegal invaders to ICE once they seek treatment!