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Appeals court upholds ruling in favor of Akron Children’s Hospital, doctor

Beacon Journal staff report

An appeals court has upheld a lower court decision to dismiss the medical malpractice lawsuit filed against an Akron hospital and one of its specialists.

Two sets of parents had sued Akron Children’s Hospital and Dr. Daryl Steiner after each had been accused of abusing their infant children.

In separate incidents in 2006, Nathaniel and Monica Humrighouse and Lee-Ann and Daniel Dunkle took their babies to Akron Children’s Hospital to be examined for head trauma. In each case, Steiner reported suspected abuse to children’s services.

The babies were removed from their families for several months until the charges could be disproved.

Both sets of parents filed a lawsuit in 2010. They alleged medical malpractice, defamation and malicious prosecution.

A Summit County judge granted the hospital and doctor summary judgment on all claims, based on immunity under Ohio law. On Thursday, the 9th District Court of Appeals agreed.

“A careful review of the record does not support a finding that Dr. Steiner acted in bad faith in his depositions, affidavits or his meeting with the prosecutor and law enforcement,” appeals Judge Beth Whitmore wrote in the decision.


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