Parents who were allegedly investigated after young child misdiagnosed with sexually transmitted disease sue

By Kyle Barnett | Jul 30, 2014

GRETNA – The family of a young child who was allegedly misdiagnosed with having a sexually transmitted disease that was reported to local law enforcement before it was discovered the test results were wrong, is suing the clinic where the testing took place.

James J. Noveh II and Jennifer Noveh, individually and on behalf of their two minor children, filed suit against Ochsner Clinic Foundation in the 24th Judicial District Court on June 27.

The Novehs allege that on Jan. 3, 2012 they took one of their children - who was 30 months old at the time - to Ochnser Clinic for a recurrent rash and allergy labs performed did not return any findings. The plaintiffs assert that their child was brought back to the defendant’s clinic on Jan. 10, Jan. 20 and Jan. 28, 2012 and all three times the child was diagnosed as having neisseria gonorrhoeae - a sexually transmitted disease. The Novehs claim that the doctor wrote in her notes on Jan. 30, 2012 that sexual abuse had not been ruled out in the case and that child protective services and law enforcement were notified of their findings.

The plaintiffs contend that although Ochnser shared their findings that the child was suffering from neisseria gonorrhoeae and they notified law enforcement officers of the result, that the infection was ultimately shown to not be neisseria gonorrhoeae. The Novehs assert that due to the defendants’ findings they began to question whether someone close to them could have molested their child and if so could their other child have been molested as well without their knowledge. The Mandeville Police Department and State of Louisiana Child Protective Services allegedly investigated the incident and neither of the agencies found evidence of sexual abuse and both failed to confirm Ochsner’s findings. Ultimately the Novehs took their child to Lakeview Hospital in Metairie where a test showed no sign of neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The defendant is accused of negligently finding their child to have neisseria gonorrhoeae, failing to properly sample and test the cultures and negligently failing to maintain its laboratory.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of life’s pleasures, personal disabilities, wage losses and medical expenses.

The Novehs are represented by attorneys Carl N. Finley and Ralph Rabalais of Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge June Berry Darensburg.

Case no. 739-876.

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