Attorneys lay out cases in medical malpractice suit lodged against Boston Children’s Hospital

BOSTON (WHDH) - A Connecticut family’s medical malpractice trial against Boston Children’s Hospital got underway Tuesday.

Justina Pelletier says her civil rights were violated when hospital staff held her in psychiatric care for more than a year against her parents’ wishes.

“Justina was the victim of medical malpractice,” Pelletier family lawyer John Martin told the court. “She and her parents had their civil rights violated through threats coercion and intimidation while she was a patient at Boston children’s Hospital.”

Children’s Hospital denies the allegations and maintains its medical staff delivered proper care.

Counsel for the hospital, Ellen Epstein Cohen, told the jury that Martin is going to try to convince them that “three good doctors” lied.

In 2013, Pelletier was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families for 18 months following a medical dispute with the hospital.

Doctors at Tufts Medical Center diagnosed Pelletier with mitochondrial disease, a disorder that occurs when structures that produce energy for a cell malfunction. It causes poor growth, developmental delays, and muscle weakness.

Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital believed Pelletier’s symptoms were psychological and accused her parents of medical abuse.

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