Teen from Netflix documentary files criminal complaint in Johns Hopkins hospital case

The teen whose family won a $261 million verdict against St. Petersburg, Fla-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital has filed a criminal complaint alleging sexual abuse while at the hospital, the Daily Mail reported.

Maya Kowalski, 17, whose story was featured in the Netflix documentary "Take Care of Maya," filed the complaint Nov. 10 at the Pinellas County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office, according to the Nov. 11 story. Her attorney, Greg Anderson, told the news outlet that a "physician or a person appearing to be a physician" entered her hospital room in October 2016 and sexually abused her.

"These allegations originally arose during trial and were not admitted into the case. As soon as the hospital became aware of the allegations, and in accordance with their policies, they immediately initiated an internal investigation and contacted law enforcement last month," Ethen Shapiro, an attorney to the hospital, said in a statement to Becker's. "Federal privacy laws restrict Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital from sharing more, but the hospital takes allegations of this nature very seriously and always puts the safety of their patients above all else."

A jury awarded the Kowalskis $261 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit Nov. 9, agreeing that the hospital falsely imprisoned Maya Kowalski after calling a child abuse hotline on her mother, Beata, for suspected Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Beata Kowalski took her own life while Maya Kowalski was in the hospital and not allowed to see her mother.

While the hospital plans to appeal the verdict and may not pay anything until at least next year, the judgment could force it to use cash reserves, possibly affecting its credit rating and future expansion projects, its CFO testified during the trial, the Tampa Bay Times reported Nov. 13. The hospital could also make multiple insurance claims as a result.

"Large claims like this will frequently impact the organization across the whole spectrum," Robert Bonar, a professor of healthcare administration at Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University, told the news outlet. "It will lead to increases in self-insured retentions, increased insurance premiums."

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