A former college basketball player in Pennsylvania is suing Penn Medicine for allegedly failing to prevent a brain tumor from developing into a brain aneurysm.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania on Monday says the cancerous tumor, dubbed a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, has been linked to the brain injury that led to the death of James Hagerty, an 11-year-old boy from Erie County, Pa.
Hagerty died in May 2014.
The cancerous brain tumor is said to have spread to his heart and other organs.
Penn Medicine did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In its complaint, the plaintiffs state that it had a “deep understanding” of the “risk, severity, and prognosis” of developing the brain tumor.
It was Penn Medicine’s practice to remove and monitor any patients who presented with symptoms similar to Hagert’s and “to monitor for and treat patients who are at increased risk,” according to the complaint.
In addition, Penn Medicine had “repeatedly and systematically failed to take steps to detect and prevent the onset of this neurodegenerative disease.”
The plaintiffs also allege that Penn Medicine knew of Hagerts brain tumor “in the form of diffuse intrinsic papillary gliomas” in 2016, which they believed to be “significantly higher” than the brain cancer diagnosis that Hagertt’s parents had received in 2013.
The lawsuit says that in March 2017, Hagerson’s parents “received a phone call from Penn Medicine which informed them of the discovery of this disease and informed them that Penn Medical had discovered the presence of this brain tumor.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Penn Health “failed to inform its doctors of Hagers prognosis and continued to do so for at least a year.”
The Penn Health statement said, “Penn Health does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender-based disability, national origin, age, marital status, medical condition, genetic information, medical procedure, medical treatment, or previous medical history.”
Penn Medicine has since issued a statement, saying the company “has never knowingly discriminated against anyone, including patients, on the grounds of race or ethnicity.”