By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 21, 2007
The adult children of slain New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum have reached a confidential settlement with Howard University Hospital, ending a year-old lawsuit that accused the hospital and D.C. emergency workers of negligence and medical malpractice.
The hospital and two of Rosenbaum's relatives confirmed the settlement yesterday but offered no details. Asked whether the settlement involved a financial award for the plaintiffs, Marcus Rosenbaum, a brother of the journalist, said, "You wouldn't be wrong to say that it did."
Rosenbaum, 63, was killed in a street robbery near his Northwest Washington home in January 2006. The lawsuit was filed the following November by Rosenbaum's son and daughter after a report by the D.C. inspector general's office cited an "unacceptable chain of failure" by firefighters, paramedics, police officers and hospital personnel in treating Rosenbaum. The family said that the failures contributed to his death.
The plaintiffs, Dorothy and Daniel Rosenbaum, settled with the city in March, forgoing a financial award in return for the District's promise to overhaul its emergency medical response system.
It could not be determined yesterday whether the settlement with Howard involved a promise of systemic changes. WTOP radio first reported the agreement yesterday.
"There was a settlement, but I really don't have any information on the details," Howard spokeswoman J.J. Pryor said. Dorothy and Daniel Rosenbaum also declined to comment, and their attorney, Patrick M. Regan, did not return a phone call.
D.C. Superior Court records show that the lawsuit was dismissed after the Rosenbaums and the hospital jointly filed a motion Nov. 7 asking Judge Robert Morin to terminate the case. Such a request usually indicates that the parties have reached a settlement out of court. Confidentiality is often a condition of such settlements.
According to the inspector general's report, emergency workers who found the barely conscious Rosenbaum on the sidewalk failed to recognize the seriousness of his condition.
An ambulance crew bypassed a closer hospital and took Rosenbaum to Howard because one of the emergency medical technicians had personal business to attend to near there, according to the report. It said Rosenbaum was left on a gurney at the hospital for an extended period without being examined by a physician.