A second lawsuit filed by the Black son of television judge Glenda Hatchett — in which he alleged race played a role in the 2016 death of his wife while she was receiving medical care — has reached a settlement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs — Charles Johnson IV and his two minor boys — filed court papers on Friday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker stating that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged. Johnson is Hatchett’s son.
In May, the plaintiffs settled a separate medical malpractice suit brought against the hospital in March 2017 that also involved the April 13, 2016, death of Johnson’s wife, 39-year-old Kyra Johnson.
In the second suit, brought May 3, Johnson maintained his spouse’s death was racially related because his attorneys discovered while taking depositions in the first suit that a disparity existed in the care Black females and other women of color received at Cedars-Sinai compared to white women.
The hospital previously released a statement in response to the second suit.
“We are actively working to eradicate unconscious bias in health care and advance equity in health care more broadly,” the statement read. “We commend Mr. Johnson for the attention he has brought to the important issue of racial disparities in maternal outcomes.”
In the first suit, the plaintiffs alleged Kyra Johnson died due to the negligence of doctors at Cedars-Sinai, where she received prenatal care and delivery at the hospital.
“This is a case where a woman was negligently allowed to bleed to death internally while her husband watched her slowly fade away,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys stated in their court papers in the first suit. “It wasn’t one, two, three, or even four hours. Plaintiff Charles Johnson personally witnessed and experienced approximately seven hours of fright, shock and horror while bright red blood continued to come out of his wife’s catheter as the life bled out of her.”
In a sworn declaration, Johnson alleged the hospital medical staff “negligently failed to take prompt action to care for my wife after I saw them become aware of the bright red blood in Kyra’s catheter bag. I saw the bag changed and then again saw bright red blood fill Kyra’s catheter bag.”
Johnson said he believed what he saw at the time was “not a good sign. I was very concerned for Kyra’s well-being and I was concerned by the lack of prompt medical attention. I waited and waited, hour after hour, by her side as my wife slowly bled to death. I saw her deteriorate.”
In their court papers in the first suit, defense attorneys maintained the doctors’ actions were within the applicable standard of medical care. Disputing Johnson’s claim for emotional distress, the defense lawyers say he was told to stand behind a curtain where he could see his wife’s face, but not what the physicians were doing with his wife’s stomach.
“There was nothing that caused Mr. Johnson a concern during the Cesarean section,” the defense attorneys stated in their court papers in the first suit.