The teenager at the center of a $220 million medical malpractice and parental rights lawsuit was pictured scantily clad at a party with friends shortly after her family’s legal team said she was too sick to appear in court .
Maya Kowalski, 17, was just 10 years old when she was fired by the state after doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital accused her parents of faking symptoms of her rare chronic pain disorder.
During her three-month stay, her mother, Beata Kowalski, was forbidden by law from seeing her. The affected mother fell into depression and ultimately took her own life in the midst of despair. The heartbreaking tragedy was detailed in the Netflix documentary Taking Care of Maya.
Last Friday, Kowalski family attorney Gregory Anderson told the media that Maya was present at Dr. Sally Smith, the child abuse pediatrician who examined her case, was not present.
In his remarks, Anderson said the emotional impact of the trial on Maya caused her to develop lesions related to her diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome, it said Court TV.
The case took another turn on Tuesday when defense attorneys introduced into evidence photos, some taken from Instagram, that showed Maya at a Halloween party and a homecoming event.
One of the photos shown by defense lawyers in court claimed that, contrary to what her lawyers say, Maya is now living a normal teenage life
Last week, Maya’s attorney said the stress of the trial caused her injuries that were related to her CRPS diagnosis
“This is Maya Kowalski’s life today.” We did not aggravate a pre-existing condition. “She’s at her prom, she’s wearing high heels, she has friends – it’s completely contradictory to what she said,” a lawyer said
Maya’s lawyers argued that the photos should not be allowed because the teenager did not post them herself
One of the pictures shows Maya at a homecoming event
In the Halloween image, the teenager can be seen wearing a two-piece outfit, smiling and showing no visible injuries. In another, she wears a short dress while riding in a limousine.
Defense attorney Ethen Shapiro said in reference to the images that the court was told that Maya has been unable to live the life of a normal teenager since her hospitalization.
“This is Maya Kowalski’s life today.” We did not aggravate a pre-existing condition. “She’s at her prom, she’s wearing high heels, she has boyfriends – it’s completely contradictory to what she’s saying,” Shapiro said while discussing the images.
The family’s lawyers responded that the images should not be allowed because Maya was not the one who posted them and that the people pictured with her were not involved in the case.
The judge ruled that two of the three photos submitted could be admitted, but the image of her in the two-piece outfit was rejected.
Johns Hopkins attorneys put their case on hold Wednesday, but Maya and her father Jack could be back on the witness stand during rebuttal arguments.
Maya broke down in court as she told the court the last moments she saw her mother as she took the stand in the $220 million lawsuit against Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
The now 17-year-old was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) at age 9, but was hospitalized in October 2016 at age 10 with severe pain
Maya’s mother Beata (right) took her own life after she was diagnosed with depression and an adjustment disorder after being separated from Maya for almost three months
Maya was released from her parents’ care after hospital staff became suspicious of the dosage of ketamine her mother was desperate to give her for the excruciating chronic pain.
The Florida Department of Children and Families and a state judge confirmed hospital staff’s suspicions of “medical child abuse” and placed Maya under the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families. She was housed at the center.
AndersonGlenn LLP, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Kowalski family, confirmed that the family is seeking $55 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages.
The hospital’s defense is expected to focus on the staff’s status as mandatory reporters, required by state law to call the abuse hotline if they have “good cause,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Ethen Shapiro, who is part of the hospital’s defense team, previously stated that the decision to remove Maya was made by the child welfare system, not the medical facility.
The hospital released a statement to DailyMail.com saying, “Our priority at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is always the safety and privacy of our patients and their families.”
“That’s why we follow strict federal privacy laws that limit the amount of information we can release about any given case.”
“Our first responsibility is always to the child placed in our care.” Our employees are required by law to notify the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) if they suspect abuse or neglect.
“It is DCF and a judge – not Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital – who will investigate the situation and make the final decision on what course of action is in the best interest of the child.”
“We are committed to preventing any chilling effect on reporting suspected child abuse to protect the most vulnerable among us.”