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‘It was wrong’: Maya Kowalski sues hospital alleging sex abuse

(NewsNation) — Maya Kowalski, the 17-year-old awarded $260 million in a civil trial that alleged a hospital wrongly denied Kowalski’s mother access to her daughter, is again suing the hospital claiming she was sexually abused.

Kowalski alleges she was abused while being kept at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for three months in 2016, a confinement that led her mother to kill herself. The hospital barred Kowalski’s mother from seeing her while it investigated child abuse claims that turned out to be false.

“I know that it was wrong, and that’s enough,” Kowalski said of what happened to her at the hospital. She spoke to NewsNation Friday on “CUOMO.”

The family first sued the hospital when Beata Kowalski took her own life after being away from her daughter for three months. That lawsuit alleged the hospital staff’s actions were responsible for Beata’s death, and a jury returned a verdict last week in favor of Maya.

Kowalski’s story began Oct. 7, 2016, when the then-10-year-old who suffers from complex regional pain syndrome was rushed to the hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, according to the family’s complaint. Kowalski was evaluated by a child-welfare agency doctor and subsequently remained in the hospital for three months under order from a court.

The family alleged in their complaint Kowalski was falsely imprisoned, isolated at the hospital, touched without her consent and had worsening symptoms. Family visits were also restricted.

Greg Anderson, the attorney representing Kowalski, explained that the allegations of sexual abuse came up at the first civil trial but were not added to the complaint.

“The judge ruled that because we hadn’t specifically addressed this with defense counsel being able to ask questions, that it would be unfair to interject it at that stage of the trial,” Anderson said. “So, that’s really why (the judge) ultimately ruled that that it would this would be better in a separate complaint.”

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported in September during the trial that Kowalski recalled a situation between her and an unidentified man in a white lab coat that could potentially be sexual abuse. Kowalski told a hospital psychologist about the encounter, according to the Herald-Tribune.

“She reported it but nothing was done. Nothing was done to make sure that I was safe and secure in that place,” Kowalski said. “I just decided that well, since it wasn’t taken seriously there, It’s not going to be taken seriously anywhere else.”

Kowalski and Anderson have also filed a criminal complaint with police in connection with the incident, the newspaper reported.

An attorney for the hospital said in a statement to Fox News Digital that the hospital took the allegations seriously.

“As soon as the hospital became aware of the allegations, and in accordance with their policies, they immediately initiated an internal investigation and contacted law enforcement last month,” the attorney said. “Federal privacy laws restrict Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital from sharing more, but the hospital takes allegations of this nature very seriously and always puts the safety of their patients above all else.”

Kowalski previously told NewsNation she feels like the jury verdict was vindication for her mother, who doctors believed may have had Munchausen by proxy. Hospital staff claimed Beata kept urging them to give her daughter ketamine to treat her pain.

While the case was been extremely emotional for Kowalski, she says she wants to speak out so others don’t have to endure the treatment.

“Everything that happened at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital was emotional and it is heavy,” Kowalski said. “I know a lot of other people have gone through similar situations and they don’t have the platform to talk. I want to be a voice for the voiceless.”

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