DC - Justina gets standing ovation from Congress

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by CathyinTexas, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. stormshine

    stormshine Member

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    Good. Horse therapy's a good thing no matter what the cause of her medical problems.
     


  2. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    The hospital and Doctors Peters, Ryan, and Bujoreanu filed answers to the (4/11) Second Ammended ComplIaint on 4/19. They also filed second requests for separate Medical Malpractice Tribunals. I wonder if the 15 day clock starts ticking on the receipt of the answers to the first ammended complaint or the second ammended complaint? I also wonder if the filing of ammended complaints is a ploy to give the plaintif attorneys more time to prepare for the tribunals?


    I agree that any ruling that goes against the Pelletiers will result in keening and wailing by the Pelletier supporters. I don't know what the rules are about the source of the cash bond required if the tribunal rules for the doctors. I know that it has to be cash - no collateral, that it has to be payable to the defendant(s), it is intended to cover the defendent(s) defense costs, and that the judge can increase or decrease the amount required based on their discretion and the details of the case. I would not be surprised to see a sudden flurry of fundraising requests to help the Pelletiers through this "difficult time" and pay the bond so the case can proceed despite any negative ruling. People who are prone to believe in the "child abducting hospital" theory are probably not going to be convinced otherwise.

    I believe that the results of the tribunal are public record, but I don't think they are readily available on line. I could be wrong, but I think you have to file a written request for the results and records presented to the tribunal. I know that any settlement or verdict at the trial court level must be reported back to the tribunal and becomes public record regardless of any confidentiality agreements that may have been reached. Hopefully some enterprising reporter will go looking for this info.
     
  3. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    More valuable info here, made easy to understand through the clear writing and explanations that Annahanna provides. I'm hoping for an enterprising reporter to seize on this story, but given what I know about the shrinking staff and resources of the local paper, I don't hold out much hope.
     
  4. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    Today the Pelletiers filed a motion for a limited stay of defendants' discovery until after a Medical Malpractice Tribunal is convened.

    This makes very little sense to me unless this is just a ploy to bog down the legal process and somehow buy themselves more time to prepare for the Tribunal(s). Their attorneys were well aware of the tribunal process but I don't think they anticipated the possibility of 3 tribunals.
     
  5. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    Even without reading the actual documents filed in their Connecticut bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings, you can see numerous, repeated requests for postponements of hearings and rulings, so perhaps this is just the Pelletiers being the Pelletiers. And apparently, in the case of the foreclosure, the repeated delays bought them enough time to raise the money from their naive and gullible supporters. But the constant requests for delays almost certainly annoys the court, which does not seem to be a wise strategy. And if the ultimate outcome is not in their favor -- and they may already sense that -- then the delays once again give them more time to collect donations from their supporters, donations whose use they are not accountable for, as the Save Justina charity is not registered with the state of CT.
     
  6. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    The Pelletier's motion for a limited stay of discovery was unopposed and was approved on 4/27/16. I can not find any mention of WHEN the tribunal will happen and if there will be one tribunal of three - of even four as Alice Newton MD has not yet responded to the complaint and does not yet have an attorney of record.

    I think the tribunal(s) for Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology should be next week. The response to the second amended complaint was filed on April 19th. Fifteen days fro that date would be May 4th - unless I am counting days incorrectly or the plaintiffs' counsel files another amendment.



    ETA: I don't think this limited stay is going to hurt the defendants in any way. There is plenty of time for complete discovery in this case.
     
  7. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    Justina appears to be participating in therapeutic riding ad Rivendell Farms in Durham CT. (This is based on the horse she is riding - Nanu and the pictures of staff that they have posted.) Rivendell Farms does appear to have a decent therapeutic riding program. They are not listed on the PATH website as a PATH certified center but the Farm does list one of their instructors as PATH certified. I was not able to verify her certification but I am not sure that matters much. At least Justina is doing something.....
     
  8. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    If I ever need a private eye, I am going to hire AH.
    No matter how convoluted the legal proceedings get, I fervently hope the hospital finally gets to speak up and out and that it all becomes public. No wonder the Pelletiers are dragging things out, because they probably realize that day is coming and hope to put it off indefinitely.

    I believe there are PATH certified horse therapy programs in Connecticut. Can't help but wonder if they turned her down as a client because of potential adverse publicity or fear of a lawsuit if by some chance Justina got hurt. Based on the lawsuit they launched against the driver in the fenderbender case, we know they hate to miss an opportunity to seek damages wherever possible.

    But I too am glad she is getting out of the house and into the company of people who are not caught up (I assume) in the paranoia surrounding this endless case.
     
  9. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    LOL! My husband calls it nosey!

    I just read an article that discussed Malpractice Tribunals. Although the law says 15 days, apparently the norm is that it takes several months for a tribunal to actually take place. This case is likely to drag out for quite a while knowing the Pelletier propensity to delay.....
     
  10. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    Nosey? No! Just an excellent researcher!

    IMO, The Pelletiers welcome delays, as it gives them more time to come up with goofy accusations, misrepresentations of what has already occurred and tiny-violin/sad trombone/waaahwaaah postings (they've got a regular orchestra going), all to better squeeze a few more bucks out of their gullible supporters before the court (likely) rules against them.
    They recently posted lovely pictures of the college graduation of one of the older daughters. Here's hoping she soon moves out of their home and begins a good life of her own. (But I am not counting on that....)
     
  11. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    Dr Alice Newton's attorneys have appeared before the court. They have filed a motion to dismiss based on the plaintiffs' failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Pelletiers' are, of course, opposing this.

    It will be interesting to see how this is handled by the court. Lou has previously complained about Dr Newton's involvement and stated that she "never treated Justina." If Newton was functioning more in a social services capacity (determining abuse from the records and interacting with DFCS) then she was in the capacity of a treating physician, it might be impossible to bring a successful medical malpractice claim. If she did not provide medical care, there is no possibility of malpractice. At the same time, she can not be sued for reporting the case to DFCS as she is a mandated reporter.
     
  12. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    So if I am reading your post correctly, there is no basis for suing Dr. Newton at all: she either functioned in this case as a social services provider, not as a treating physician; or as a doctor, but did not directly provide medical care to Justina; and she followed the law by reporting the Pelletiers to DCF as she was mandated to do.

    Three strikes; lawsuit is out.

    Wouldn't/shouldn't their lawyers have known this from the outset?
    Did they not tell the family Dr. N could not be sued successfully?
    Maybe the family should sue their lawyers for legal malpractice...

    Please let me know if I have misinterpreted what you posted.
     
  13. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    I am speculating, but to me that appears to be Dr Newton's argument. I know that I remember Lou complaining bitterly about Newton "jumping to conclusions" when she had not even seen or examined Justina. It will be interesting to see how the cour prat rules on the motion to dismiss.
     
  14. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    The Pelletiers requested leave to file a sur-reply (additional reply to a motion filed after the motion has already been fully briefed) in their objection to Dr Newton's motion to dismiss. The court has denied their request.

    I am speculating as I do not have the documents to view, but what this tells me is that Newton filed a motion to dismiss, the Pelletiers filed an objection, Newton may have been allowed to respond to their objection, and the Pelletiers wanted to respond to her response and the judge said no. The notation states "the court will not consider any argument raised for the first time in a reply memorandum (dated 5/16/16)." I wonder if this is an indication that the judge is not going allow the game playing and delay tactics that the Pelletier family seems to employ.

    The court also issued a notice to appear on the same day.
     
  15. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    I'm sure the judge is well aware of the obstructions that the Pelletiers typically try to cause when things are not going their way. I'm also pretty sure the judge is having none of it. Can't wait to see what happens next.

    I notice the family is not posting anything related to the lawsuit on the Free Justina Facebook page (likely on the advice/warnings by their lawyer) and so far, are not begging for financial help.

    I also notice that it is now nearly a year since the Massachusetts legislators filed their own version of the Justina's Law bill that went nowhere in the U.S. House of Representatives. Looks like the state version is dead in the water too.

    It appears that the Pelletiers are having no more success with the legal system than they had with the medical system in Massachusetts. Still, they apparently managed to pay off their housing debts with the help of their loyal followers, which may well be all they really care about.

    Also, Justina turns 18 this week, on May 24. If she were a competent adult, she could demand control over her own health decisions, but sadly, IMO, she is not capable and is wholly financially and emotionally dependent on her family. IMO, poor Justina will never be "free."
     
  16. stormshine

    stormshine Member

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    The Miracle page posted pictures from her birthday. One thing I noticed: there's a picture of her riding, sitting fully upright with no assistance and using traditional stirrups, which seems like a huge improvement (and definitely not in line with the parents statements that she's paralyzed.) Yet I also noticed that she's gone from a manual wheelchair to an electric one.
     
  17. sweetmom

    sweetmom Member

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    I am glad for any evidence that she is improving -- but still wonder if she ever really needed a wheelchair in the first place. Sorry for being so skeptical, but we all can plainly see that it bolsters the family's contentions/legal machinations if she truly cannot walk (but blows a big hole in them if she actually has the ability to walk, but has been convinced that is not possible). She's 18 now and could speak for herself, but IMO, that will never be allowed by her parents -- unless she agrees beforehand to say what they want her to say.

    I'm sure using an electric wheelchair is more convenient for her and her family members, and no doubt some of the Free Justina donations helped buy it. And I doubt that any of her supporters would complain about that.
     
  18. stormshine

    stormshine Member

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    If it's true that she can physically walk and has simply been convinced otherwise, I wonder how long will it last? Eventually the love-bombing will die down and the acts of kindness with it. The internet fans won't be around forever. Friends will go off to college and move on with their lives. And the reality of being a disabled woman without this huge network of supporters might be difficult to adjust to.
     
  19. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    It is surprising that at the same time Justina has apparently switched from a manual to a power chair, she is also shown sitting upright and unaided on horseback. She does not appear to to be using any form of special saddle, harness, or stirrups. I'm glad to hear that she is doing equine therapy as I think it will be very beneficial in the long run. Horseback riding requires core strength and stability as well as leg muscle strength and control. These skills should help with her walking. Personally, I do believe that Justina was convinced that she couldn't/shouldn't walk and encouraged to rely on a wheelchair. At this point, if she has not been walking at home, in private, etc she has likely lost muscle strength and control even if there was not a true medical trigger.

    The hearing for the motion to dismiss (Dr Newton) is scheduled for 5/31. It will be interesting to see how the judge rules.
     
  20. annahanna

    annahanna New Member

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    Too late to edit the above, but generally patients move from a manual chair to a power chair when is becomes apparent that they are not going to be walking anytime soon. The upside of the power chair is independence and speed. The downsides: reduction in activity if the patient is no longer maneuvering the chair on their own (I don't know if Justina did this or if there was always someone available to push her), power chairs are heavy and difficult to transport, and patients may accept their disability as permanent instead of trying to work through the issue.

    I think it is odd that she is still unable to walk and in need of moving to a power chair, but she has the core stability and muscle strength wo ride a horse without assistance or specialized harnesses, saddles, or braces.
     

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