Johns Hopkins All Children's lawyer questions jury's impartiality in Netflix documentary case

Howard Hunter, the lawyer representing St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital against a lawsuit stemming from a case that was brought to light in a Netflix documentary, Take Care of Maya, expressed concerns about the jury Sept. 28 in court, Fox 13 News reported Sept. 28. 

Mr. Hunter asked the judge overseeing the trial to question the jury about whether they've been approached by anyone about the case or have seen media coverage regarding the care, according to the publication. 

According to Mr. Hunter, the Kowalski family lawyer, was seen on Court TV and said that the appearance could prompt friends or family members of the jury to ask about the case.

The judge agreed to ask the questions. 

Currently, the Kowalski family is suing Johns Hopkins All Children's for $55 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages as they allege the hospital misdiagnosed Maya Kowalski and wrongly accused Maya's parents of medical child abuse.

Maya was sheltered at Johns Hopkins All Children's due to allegations of child abuse, and her story was shared in a documentary featured on Netflix.

According to the opening statements for the trial, which began Sept. 21, the hospital twice reported Maya's mother, Beata 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.  

Johns Hopkins All Children's lawyer said that Maya received 55 doses of ketamine over a nine-month period, as well as a dose the day before her mother demanded emergency room physicians at the health system to administer more of the drug. 

The persistence from Ms. Kowalski raised alarms for staff at the hospital, although the family claims Maya's ketamine infusion therapy had been part of her treatment for CRPS for more than a year. 

"They had a child being given levels of medication they had never heard of before, that the literature did not support," the lawyer for the health system told the court Sept. 21. 

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 trial is expected to go on for two months, according to the publication. 

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