LAFAYETTE, la. (KLFY) — For Amanda Perero, what started as meeting her son for the first time would become an effort to create change.
Perero told KLFY News 10, “Throughout the night he kept grunting, and I told the nurse. Throughout the night she never went up to him and assessed him. So when the new nurse came in for shift change she checked his oxygen level, and his oxygen level was 76. Anything below 85 is considered severe and cerebral hypoxia starts kicking into the brain. When he was born he retained fluid in his lungs and he was suffocating in his fluid.”
Perero said that she reached out to attorney Pierre Gremillion to file a lawsuit against the nurses for neglecting her son of proper care.
However, a statute passed by Governor Edwards during the pandemic states that “During a state of public health emergency, any health care providers shall not be civilly liable for causing the death of, or injury to, any person. Except in the event of gross negligence.”
Gross negligence is the extreme departure from ordinary care or the want of even scant care.
Gremillion said that the trouble with this case is proving gross negligence.
“We’re talking about these splitting of hairs when it comes to proving negligence. The nurse has a duty to monitor a patient or two patients in this case. If there’s any failure to monitor then you certainly have a breach of that duty of care. And that falls into the category of medical malpractice,” Gremillion said.
Gremillion added that a plan is in motion to challenge the statute with hopes to see change.
“It’s a law, it’s valid, it’s in play now. But I have a colleague who’s making a hail mary attempt to bring a constitutionality challenge of this statute being overbroad in its application, and he’s hoping to bring that all the way up to Louisiana supreme court and hopefully get relief there,” Gremillion said.
Perero believes that until this statute is changed, she can’t get justice for her son being mentally disabled for the rest of his life.