NASHVILLE (WSMV) - The family of Akilah DaSilva, one of the Antioch Waffle House shooting victims, is suing Vanderbilt University Medical Center for wrongful death.
In a court complaint obtained by News4, the mother of DaSilva, Shaundelle Brooks, alleges that on April 22, 2018, DaSilva was transported to Vanderbilt's Trauma Unit with significant injuries and while doctors attempted to place a breathing tube in his trachea, they instead placed the breathing tube in his esophagus which led "directly and promptly to significant injury and death."
The complaint further alleges that the doctors failed to recognize that they had improperly intubated DaSilva which led his condition rapidly deteriorating soon after. It also claims that Vanderbilt destroyed evidence in the case, a chest x-ray, that would have shown the improper intubation and that Vanderbilt refuses to provide the family with the x-ray "in an ongoing attempt to conceal its wrongdoing and the resulting injury."
The lawsuit claims "reckless conduct" on behalf of Vanderbilt and the failure to provide acceptable standard of care.
The family is asking for all compensatory damages available in the state including medical expenses, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, physical and emotional pain and suffering of up to $20 million, as well as punitive damages for reckless conduct of up to $60 million.
The attorney for the family, Brian Manookian, took to Twitter to defend the family calling the hospital "completely out of control."
"I represent the family in this suit. No one should feel safe seeking care at Vanderbilt. In the last year alone they've admitted to lethally injecting a patient and operating on the wrong side of a patient's body. This hospital is completely out of control," said Manookian in a tweet.
In a statement, Vanderbilt University Medical Center vehemently denies the allegations of the lawsuit and says they will fight it.
“Losing a family member to a violent attack of this kind is unthinkable, and our deepest sympathies are with the DaSilva family for their tragic loss. However, we absolutely disagree with the allegations in this lawsuit and intend to defend it vigorously. The Office of the Medical Examiner found that the cause of Mr. DaSilva’s death was the gunshot wounds he suffered. It’s unfortunate the DaSilva family has been persuaded to believe otherwise,” said John Howser, Chief Communications Officer for VUMC. “Mr. DaSilva received world class care from a highly accomplished trauma team. Unfortunately, many factors can impact a gunshot victim’s survival, including their condition before arrival at the ER, the caliber of the bullet and whether vital organs were hit. The allegations in the complaint are not true. Mr. DaSilva was not improperly intubated and VUMC has not concealed anything related to his care.”