16 Jan 2006

American Samoa's LBJ hospital focuses on improving service, following malpractice claim

4:14 pm on 16 January 2006

The chairman of American Samoa's LBJ hospital says they are focussing on improving quality of service, following the settlement of a malpractice claim.

Charles Warren has confirmed that a lawsuit, filed by the parents of a baby girl who died shortly after birth at the hospital, has been settled out of court for 80-thousand US dollars.

The girl's parents alleged in their 3.7 million US dollar suit that their daughter was born healthy on July 10th 2003 but gross negligence by nursery staff caused her death two weeks later.

Mr Warren says while LBJ hasn't formally accepted any responsibility for what happened, the hospital intends to learn from its mistakes.

"We're taking a good hard look at the way the physicians practice at the hospital, and having a real strong focus on improving quality there. We don't have that many claims here but even one, especially when it involves a small child, one is too many. So we're going to do everything we can at the hospital to ensure that these types of incidents don't repeat themselves."

Meanwhile, the bill appropriating the out of court settlement is being reviewed by the legislature.