The parents of Michael Colombini reached the settlement with Westchester County Health Care of Valhalla, NY. Details of the settlement, which was formally agreed upon in October 2009, became official and made public on January 21 by the Supreme Court of the State of New York for Westchester County.
In July 2001, the youngster was anesthetized and placed in an MRI scanner for follow-up after surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. When the boy began to suffer respiratory distress, the MRI staff tried to use the suite's built-in oxygen supply, but it did not work.
When someone brought a portable steel oxygen tank into the room, the magnetic force of the MRI scanner pulled the tank toward the system. The tank struck the boy in the head, and he died two days later.
The parents initially brought a $20 million lawsuit against Westchester Medical Center and its parent company, Westchester County Health Care; Dr. Terence Matalon, who was the center's chief of radiology at the time of the incident but was not present when the death occurred; two of the radiologic technologists who were present at the time of the accident; and GE Healthcare of Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., manufacturer of the MRI system.
GE was dismissed as a defendant in the case in a pretrial motion, and the settlement discontinues with prejudice any previous action against the company. The agreement also discontinues any actions with prejudice against Westchester County Health Care staff who were named in the lawsuit, including Matalon.
By Wayne Forrest
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
February 5, 2010
Rise in MRI accidents highlights need for magnet safety, August 11, 2009
Civil trial in Colombini MR-related death set for March, November 14, 2007
Did the MRI community learn from the Colombini tragedy? July 28, 2005
The fire extinguisher in your MRI suite: will it save a life or take one? September 22, 2004
MR accident results in child's death, July 31, 2001
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