Johns Hopkins All Children's begins defense in $220M lawsuit trial

Defense attorneys for St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital have begun presenting their side in the $220 million lawsuit case that was brought to light in the Netflix documentary "Take Care of Maya," Fox 13 News reported Oct. 17.  

The defense began Oct. 17, and lawyers for the hospital aim to show jurors that Johns Hopkins All Children's acted reasonably to protect Maya Kowalski, the then-10-year-old who was sheltered at the hospital due to allegations of child abuse. 

The defense also aims to prove that staff were not alone in their suspicions that Maya's mother, Beata Kowalski, had Munchausen syndrome by proxy and was making her daughter sick. 

The case stems from an incident in 2016 when Johns Hopkins All Children's twice reported Maya's mother, Ms. Kowalski, to the state's abuse hotline alleging child medical abuse after she requested the hospital give her daughter ketamine for her complex regional pain syndrome. The family claims Maya's ketamine infusion therapy had been part of her treatment for CRPS for more than a year. 

The mother's persistence to give Maya ketamine raised alarms for the health system's staff, which is why they reported her, according to the publication. 

After this incident, Ms. Kowalski was ordered not to have physical contact with her daughter and ended up taking her own life after 87 days. 

The family is suing the hospital for $55 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages.

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