Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hospital obstructs the facts

Legal battle stretches on as
lawyers withhold information

By David Baker
Posted Sunday, June 1, 2008

One of the claims made by Samaritan Hospital in the lawsuit over Lisa’s death is that finger stick meters such as the one that showed her blood glucose at a mere 2 mg/dL are inaccurate at low readings. Her real glucose level when she was found in her hospital bed not breathing and with no pulse, was a normal and safe 80 mg/dL.

That’s according to Dr. Matthew Leinung of Albany Medical Center Hospital. Leinung was likely paid a significant sum for this and other opinions – more than four years after Lisa’s death – as Samaritan Hospital tries to avoid any responsibility for her care.

So at the end of April I filed a legal document demanding that the hospital tell me the make and model of all glucose meters available to its staff at the time Lisa was a patient.

That information is necessary to challenge the claims made by Leinung in his affidavit. The doctor’s sworn statement is part of an attempt by the hospital to have the entire case thrown out of court.

The hospital’s lawyers had a specific amount of time to reply to the demand. That time has expired with no response.

So with less than three weeks until my response to Samaritan’s motion is due, the hospital is doing everything it can to obstruct my response to its motion.

Some judges would not tolerate this conduct. But as has been noted previously on this page, Judge Stephen Ferradino has shown a remarkable sympathy for the defendants in this case, most recently giving them far more time than they had asked for to respond to my motion for summary judgment, despite my objections to even the extension they had requested.

This happened at a conference with the judge that ostensibly was to consider the defendants' request for a delay - even though by then the judge's staff had already told them one had been granted - but was really, I believe, a carefully staged event designed to intimidate me into accepting a tiny amount to settle the case.

So the next step is yet another written motion – again something most judges strongly discourage – asking Ferradino to compel the hospital to respond to my demand for the information on the glucose meters.

All of which leads to this disturbing thought:

There are two groups of people who routinely kill and maim, and who then employ an army of lawyers and buy influence with politicians and business owners to obstruct and defeat any attempt to hold them accountable.

One of those groups is organized crime. The mob. The Mafioso.

The other is the medical profession.