Boy's Family, Hospital Settle

Publication:The Journal News
Author:Gary Stern
Attorney(s):Thomas A. Moore
Practice Area(s):General Negligence / Personal Injury/Wrongful Death
Summary:The family of six-year-old Michael Colombini, who died when he was struck in the head by an oxygen tank while in an MRI chamber, received a $2.9 million settlement from a Westchester County hospital. Matthew Gaier, a partner at Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore, negotiated the settlement, and was quoted in The Journal News saying, "This has been the culmination of many years of pain and anguish" and that the family now felt "a measure of justice."

In July 2001, Michael, who had just completed kindergarten, had gone to the hospital for a follow-up visit after the successful removal of a benign brain tumor. He was inside an MRI machine, sedated, when hospital workers noticed a problem with the piped-in oxygen to the room. An oxygen canister was brought in, and the MRI's "powerful magnets sent the metal tank flying," said the article, "hitting the boy in the head. He died two days later." The "horrifying death... drew intense national attention."

"It's fair to say the family is glad to finally have some closure, not that it will ever bring back their boy," Mr. Gaier said.