Parents sue top children’s hospital alleging negligent care, MRI delays contributed to son’s death

Arkansas parents filed a lawsuit Monday against one of the state’s foremost pediatric hospitals after they say negligent care, including a delayed scan, contributed to their son’s death.

CJ Harris was flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital after suffering an accident while riding ATVs with his brother and friend on March 23. The 14-year-old sustained a skull fracture and brain bleed, ABC’s Little Rock affiliate KATV reported Tuesday.

According to the lawsuit, Harris was removed from intensive care, placed in a regular room, and sent to rehab while still complaining of intense pain. His mother, Marie, says he couldn’t keep his head up nor his eyes open during physical rehab.

Marie also says she asked for her son to undergo an MRI many times but was denied because providers said braces on her son’s teeth may render the scan unreadable. An MRI was ultimately performed but CJ Harris was pronounced dead on March 31.

Marie and CJ’s father, Cedrick, have sued the hospital, its insurance company and three neurosurgeons. Arkansas Children’s released a statement Tuesday indicating they don’t comment on pending litigation but expressed its “heartfelt condolences” to the family.

"I would just hope that CJ's case would shed some light on what happens inside those hallways because that's how you save lives,” Cedrick said to the news outlet.

Read the full story below.


Matt joined Chicago’s TriMed team in 2018 covering all areas of health imaging after two years reporting on the hospital field. He holds a bachelor’s in English from UIC, and enjoys a good cup of coffee and an interesting documentary.

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