Parents of teen killed by hockey puck sue hospital

5:44 PM, Mar 13, 2003   |    comments
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The suit by Robert Cecil of Hilliard and Jody Lynn Sergent of West Alexandria claims doctors failed to see the extent of Brittanie Cecil's brain damage in time to save her. The lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 28, names Children's Hospital, Drs. Scott W. Elton and Leslie Jean-Regis Acakpo-Satchivi, along with medical staff members who worked on Brittanie. Children's spokesman Amy Nancy said on Thursday that she could not comment. Messages seeking comment were left at Elton's office and Ohio State University Medical Center where Acakpo-Satchivi now works. Brittanie died two days after a puck struck her as she watched the game on March 16 in Nationwide Arena between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. The suit claims doctors didn't see the extent of her brain damage in the first of two brain scans and did not do the second scan in time to combat fluid buildup in her head. The first brain scan was taken within two hours of Brittanie arriving at the hospital after she had a seizure while the wound on her forehead was being stitched. The second scan was on the morning of March 18 after her pulse had stopped, the suit states. She was declared brain dead that night. Hospital staff members treated Brittanie's symptoms but failed to quickly diagnose the underlying condition, said Michael Wright of Dayton, one of three attorneys representing Brittanie's parents. The medical-malpractice suit seeks damages "in excess of $25,000." Brittanie's family reached an out-of-court settlement last month with the NHL, the Blue Jackets and Espen Knutsen, a forward for the Blue Jackets who hit the puck that struck Brittanie. Details of the settlement have not been released. After Brittanie's death, the NHL required every team to hang netting to prevent injuries from flying pucks. Brittanie, who was an eighth-grader at a school in West Alexandria near Dayton, was attending the Blue Jackets game while visiting her father in the Columbus area. He had given her the ticket to celebrate her 14th birthday that week.

The Associated Press

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