Justina Pelletier’s Family Sues Boston Children’s Hospital

BOSTON (CBS) – The parents of Justina Pelletier say they have filed a lawsuit against Boston Children’s Hospital and four of its doctors.

Pelletier was a patient there for 16 months after a judge put her in the hospital’s custody. The teenager was reunited with her parents in June 2014 after a judge ordered she be released.

The custody fight began with a disagreement over Pelletier’s care between Children’s and Tufts Medical Center.

Lou Pelletier carries his daughter Justina into their Connecticut home after she was released into her parents' custody June 18, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Lou Pelletier carries his daughter Justina into their Connecticut home after she was released into her parents’ custody June 18, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Tufts said the Connecticut teenager had a rare disease while doctors at Children’s maintained her problems were psychological and they accused the parents of medical child abuse.

The state of Massachusetts took custody of Pelletier when her parents and doctors at Children’s clashed over her diagnosis and treatment in 2013.

At a news conference in front of the State House in Boston Thursday, Pelletier was in a wheelchair as her family announced the lawsuit, seeking monetary damages.

“I just really don’t want this to happen again to any other family,” she told reporters.

Pelletier told reporters at the news conference that she was treated irresponsibly at the hospital.

“They were really treating me badly. They didn’t really care. It was awful. Just imagine being a psych ward without needing to be in a psych ward,” Pelletier said.

In a statement issued Thursday, Children’s said it “welcomes the opportunity to vigorously defend the medical care it provided to Justina Pelletier.”

“We are committed to the best interests of our patient’s health and well-being, according to the high standards we follow for every patient placed in our care. Out of respect for the patient’s privacy and the ongoing legal process, Boston Children’s is unable to provide further comment about this specific issues of this case at this time.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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