For around a month, I've been following this Boston episode with Justina Pelletier....the fifteen year old gal with some disease (or maybe not), who the court judge has grabbed and assumed control over....saying the parents are the issue. Course, the fact that the parents are from Connecticut have screwed up the simple understanding of this.
So I'll offer a couple of observations.
It's a royal mess. At some point, the Boston child service division apparently figured out that they really did this wrong, and tired to invite Connecticut child services to simply accept the mess and the kid, and get the thing out of their city. Connecticut spent around a week looking at the family, and then said....there's no issue....why don't you just hand the kid back over to the parents? Boston's folks then realized the mess had gone onto another entirely different level.
The state status? I don't see how a Boston court can hold a Connecticut kid. It defies logic and I'm guessing those kind folks in Connecticut must allow this kind of thing all the time.
So, there's this odd thing. This kid will turn eighteen eventually and be let go. She will SUE the heck out of the hospital and the doctor involved. Typically....hospitals have a major insurance policy to cover stuff like this. Well....year to year....it's adjusted and the rate goes up....depending on how much liability insurance they had to use.
I'm guessing that this summer....this hospital will get a visit by the current insurance company and talk about their current policy. The insurance company knows the lawsuit is going to happen within four years.....I'm guessing they will ask for double the normal rates from this point on....maybe even triple the rates.
The hospital? Well....how would you recover that cost? You'd have to inflate your regular costs by fifty percent. I'm guessing this single lawsuit against the hospital and doctor will go to $200 million.....maybe even $300 million. The willingness of the insurance company to play this? That's suspect too. I'm guessing they'd like to just walk away as of the end of 2014 and forget about this one single hospital.
The judge, child services and city? Well....same deal. They have a liability policy and their insurance company will be visiting them. Triple the rate? Maybe walk away?
Some lawyers are going to start to lay this out for the city. It's not a simple one or two million dollar lawsuit that this kid will throw at them. It's way up into the hundreds of millions. Someone has to pay this....and to sit and think that the judge will just walk away and grin while he has no responsibility? I doubt that.
So, my predictions. The hospital in question is sold by the end of this year for fifty percent of its current value, and will be renamed as soon as the lawsuit occurs. The judge? He's finished in court action and will be invited by summer of 2015 to discuss his ethics at the state level. The doctor who gave his opinion? He'll likely be losing his license to practice medicine by the end of the court episode. This kid? For being a prisoner of the city of Boston....figure the hospital, court, and city will cough up around $500 million.
Finally, the Bama in me says this. If this had happened in Alabama.....some rough characters would have come out and made life miserable for the child services folks, the hospital management, and the judge. Maybe folks in Boston are fairly civilized....but in Bama....this kind of thing wouldn't be tolerated for a long period.