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All Children’s Hospital faces malpractice suit in death of 26-year old mother

The patient left behind an infant daughter and husband.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is facing yet another legal battle, this time related to the death of an adult patient.

Cometha Miller is suing the hospital on behalf of Ashley Bell-Greene who passed away following what was supposed to be a straightforward out-patient procedure.

The lawsuit doesn’t define Miller’s relationship with Bell-Greene.

Bell-Greene was 26 when she died under All Children’s care. She was born with a series of congenital heart defects that were later corrected through surgery as a child. But by the time she turned 26, Bell-Greene needed an aortic conduit replaced and scheduled the out-patient procedure at All Children’s.

Bell-Greene was told the procedure would be “easily performed” and was supposed to be released the same day, but she died the next day.

She left behind an infant daughter and her husband, Alphonzo Greene.

Miller also names Bell-Greene’s doctor, Gary Stapleton, and alleges he missed indications that the procedure had gone awry.

Stapleton had been co-director of the hospital’s heart institute, a job he landed in 2017, but no longer works there, according to All Children’s website. Stapleton later obtained a license to practice medicine in Texas.

The lawsuit claims Bell-Greene did not know about the problems All Children’s Hospital was facing, which it describes as a “disaster.”

Miller is seeking damages for medical malpractice for an undisclosed amount.

Hospital leadership was thrown into upheaval last year after a Tampa Bay Times report uncovered massive problems with patients dying and suffering debilitating injuries from alleged malpractice.

The hospital had a higher-than-usual death rate and several patients were left permanently disabled after what patients’ families claim where unsanitary conditions and situations in which patients got infections. In at least one incident, surgical materials were left inside a patient’s body.

The controversy led to the resignation of former CEO Jonathan Ellen as well as other executive staff.

Several other families have filed legal actions hinting at potential litigation, though lawsuits have not yet been filed in those cases.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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