In a lawsuit, a man claims that racism played a role in his wife’s death following a routine C-section after giving birth to a baby boy at a renowned hospital. Despite signs that she was bleeding internally and her husband’s desperate pleas, the 39-year-old mother deteriorated for hours before being readmitted to the operating room, according to the lawsuit.
According to the husband, one of the nurses allegedly told him that his wife was not a priority. One of the hospital’s doctors remarked that she lives with structural racism every day, which prevents Black patients from receiving the same care as white patients.
Charles Johnson, a California resident, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday. His wife died hours after childbirth in 2016 as a result of a racist culture at the renowned hospital, according to his court case. “My wife would be here with her boys if it wasn’t for the color of her skin,” Charles Johnson said.
Charles Johnson told ABC News: “There’s no doubt in my mind that my wife would be here today and be here Sunday celebrating Mother’s Day with her boys if she was a Caucasian woman. The reality is that on April 12, 2016, when we walked into Cedars-Sinai hospital for what we expected to be the happiest day of our lives, the greatest risk factor that Kira Dixon Johnson faced was racism.”
Johnson claims that his wife died about 12 hours after having a scheduled cesarean section that was completed in 17 minutes to deliver the couple’s second son. Langston was the name given to the boy later on.
Nicholas Rowley, Johnson’s attorney, reportedly said: “This is sloppy. It shocked everybody that we deposed, all the health care providers, even the head of (obstetrics) here, the head of labor and delivery, looked at it and said ‘No, I’ve never seen one done that fast.”’
According to NPR, the young woman deteriorated for hours despite signs that she was bleeding internally. According to the lawsuit, she was readmitted to the operating room when it was too late.
According to the husband, one of the nurses allegedly told him that his wife was not a priority.
The young mother died from internal bleeding, according to the family’s attorney. According to the lawsuit, 90 percent of her blood was later found in her stomach. Her bladder had been lacerated, and she had not been properly sutured.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center released the following statement: “We are actively working to eradicate unconscious bias in health care and advance equity in health care more broadly. We commend Mr. Johnson for the attention he has brought to the important issue of racial disparities in maternal outcomes.”
The case is set to go to trial on May 11. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction requiring the hospital to make changes to better protect mothers and women of color.
According to the court document, Dr. Kimberly Gregory, the hospital’s obstetrician, and gynecologist stated that Kira should have returned to the operating room sooner.
Dr. Gregory also stated that she is faced with structural racism on a daily basis, which prevents Black patients from receiving the same care as white patients.
Angelique Washington, a surgical technologist, told ABC News that when Kira entered the operating room, patient safety was out the door. She also stated that she frequently witnessed differences in the treatment of Black women but was too afraid to speak up.
Angelique Washington reportedly said: “When I see my Black … patients come in, I say an extra prayer. I say a silent prayer that all goes well. Because you do have racism very much so in the operating room.”
The family’s attorney, Nicholas Rowley, told FOX8 News: “Kira died because she’s Black. Women of color don’t get the same treatment as white women. That’s a fact.”