Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ten minutes=PTSD

Just when I thought I had heard of every ill-conceived and frivolous type of litigation my sensibilities were rocked yet again by one of the most ridiculous and untenable lawsuits ever brought.

Now gather round while I break it down…

As reported on KUSA on March 15, 2005, Donna and Nicholas Johnson have filed suit in Denver District Court against North Suburban Medical Center for medical negligence, loss of consortium, and loss of earnings.

Seems a nurse handed Donna the wrong baby…for TEN MINUTES. Yup, you read correctly, ten minutes. Donna Johnson gave birth to a little girl on October 19, 2004. The following day Johnson tried to breast feed what she believed to be her daughter but lo and behold she had the wrong child. After ten minutes of attempted suckling Johnson became aware that she indeed had the wrong infant. The nurse responsible brought Johnson the right baby and subsequent DNA testing has determined that she now is in possession of her biological daughter.

As a result of this fiasco Johnson’s lawsuit claims that she has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and is unable to return to work because of a constant obsession about losing her baby. Additionally, the suit claims that husband Nic has been denied marital intimacy with his wife because of the psychological trauma brought on by the incident.

Now, as a member of the legal community I’m appalled at the tenuous ground that this case is based on. A ten minute mistake has supposedly caused the same type of psychological trauma normally seen in combat veterans and those that have borne witness to or been the victims of extreme violence and others forms of severe stress. Originally PTSD was called “Soldiers Heart” following the American Civil War and evolved into “Shell Shock” that was further hypothesized and diagnosed during and immediately following WWI.

So now a ten minute colossal mistake has caused debilitating psychological trauma? This is ri-god-damn-diculous. Personally, I’d like to take the attorney who filed this steaming pile o’ feces out to the parking lot and pimp slap him around for about, oh, let’s say, ten minutes, and see if he gets PTSD.