Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Friday, November 11, 2005

No more lawsuits reported

News stories on Lisa’s case stand alone

It was just over six months ago that the area’s three daily newspapers reported on the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against Samaritan Hospital.

Those stories were the first in over six years about lawsuits against hospitals that spend a lot of money on advertising with Capital Region media outlets.

And they were also the last; Since then, not a single further claim has been reported.

State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried must be a very busy man.

Back in January, I wrote a detailed letter asking him, as chair of the Assembly Health Committee, to examine the Health Department’s stunning conclusion that Samaritan Hospital violated no rules in its treatment of Lisa – treatment which left her in the space of four hours on life support after her blood sugar was allowed to dropped to near zero.

Gottfried never answered the letter. Then in June, he wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Post, in which he accused the Health Department of being reluctant to go after bad doctors.

This prompted me to e-mail a note to Post State Editor Fred Dicker – whom I know slightly from my time working at WROW, where Fred has a daily radio show. I also e-mailed Gottfried office a copy of the note to Dicker.

In September, the assemblyman’s communications person sent me an e-mail saying she had just read my note – three months after it was sent – and that my January letter had never arrived. She asked for a copy.

That was sent to her at the end of September. But up to today – four weeks later – nothing further has been heard from the assemblyman.

Assemblyman Gottfried must be a very busy man.

The TV documentary on healthcare that was mentioned on this page earlier this month may now air sooner than first expected. The four 1-hour programs could be on the on PBS schedule in the spring of 2006.

Taping of some segments is planned for the second half of November.

More information will appear here as it becomes available.