Sunday | January 21, 2018
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Family of Hawaii girl who died from strep granted $850,000

HILO (AP) — The family of a Big Island girl who died in 2012 is receiving $850,000 to settle a federal medical malpractice lawsuit it filed.

Rienda Supu, 8, died after her parents sought treatment multiple times for a cut on her leg, which eventually became infected with staph and strep bacteria.

An autopsy showed she developed acute rheumatic carditis, which can come from a strep infection.

Richard Turbin, the attorney representing Supu’s family, claimed that Bay Clinic failed to prescribe Rienda with an appropriate medicine after finding out the cut was infected.

“The Pacific Islanders are very susceptible for extremely serious ramifications if a strep infection is unattended,” Turbin said. “The sad fact is there was a very unnecessary death and she was not properly cared for on many occasions.”

According to court documents, Dr. William Sears, an expert hired by Hilo Medical Center, concluded that the treatment and follow-up by Bay Clinic were below the standard of care because of the facility’s failure to contact the family and change the antibiotic once the lab results revealed a strep infection.

Neither party admitted fault via the settlement.

Bay Clinic’s medical director offered condolences to the family, but declined to comment about the settlement.

Bay Clinic is federally qualified, so the federal government will pay the family on behalf of the clinic.


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