Feb. 18-24 , 2000
IN THIS ISSUE

NEWS COLUMN
Judge dismisses 'baby switch' suit
What's happening

What's the University for? Series of speakers will address the role of higher education in a changing world
Holt book honored
University to begin drug testing for safety-sensitive positions

New book of personal essays reveals what teachers hope will last a lifetime

Q&A: Karen Van Lengen's challenge as dean
Bush stumps for involvement in politics
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
From the Desk of ... Jill Hartz, Bayly Art Museum director
Hot Links - theangle.com
In Memoriam - Dr. Wayne Stephen Cail
Gates' film gives new view of African history
TOP NEWS

Judge dismisses 'baby switch' suit

A Stafford County Circuit Court judge has dismissed a $31 million lawsuit against the University Medical Center arising from the highly publicized "baby switch" case.

Judge James W. Haley ruled that Paula K. Johnson failed to show that she had suffered emotional distress or physical injury, and dismissed malpractice claims against the hospital because the two-year statute of limitations had run out before she filed the lawsuit. Even if the suit had been filed in time, Haley ruled that the state's $1 million cap on medical malpractice awards would have applied.

He also denied Johnson's claim of civil rights violations because he found that the hospital did not make "a conscious decision to switch the children's identity," and had not "demonstrated indifference, unconcern or apathy to the effect of such a switch."

Johnson has several legal options remaining. She could appeal Haley's ruling to the state Supreme Court, or file a separate case against the hospital on behalf of the daughter she has raised as her own, Callie Johnson, the biological child of Kevin Chittum and Whitney Rogers. Callie Johnson was switched shortly after her birth with Johnsonıs biological daughter, Rebecca Grace Chittum. The state's $2 million settlement offer to Paula Johnson is still on the table, according to a state official familiar with the case.


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