Baby doctor sued for millions

Posted: October 3, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A Boyce family is suing a local pediatrician for $2 million after their nearly 5-month-old boy died from an undiagnosed condition.

According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in Winchester Circuit Court, Rachael Mae Lake and Robert Cyr — as the personal representatives of the estate of Brantley James Cyr — are suing Daniel C. Schiavone and Blue Ridge Pediatric Associates Ltd.

Brantley was born April 19, 2012, and allegedly became a patient of Schiavone’s on May 2.

In August, the boy was diagnosed with congenital muscular torticollis and was referred to Valley Health Rehabilitation Services for physical therapy to treat the condition.

Congenital muscular torticollisis is a condition in which an infant holds his or her head tilted to one side and has difficulty turning it, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The suit alleges Schiavone diagnosed the infant “without performing or directing the performance of diagnostic testing to assess the integrity and otherwise suitability of his cervical spine for physical therapy and other active treatment.”

Pursuant to his direction and professional recommendation, on Sept. 12, 2012, a physical therapist and Brantley’s babysitter performed at-home physical therapy exercises on him, after which he was found to be unresponsive, the lawsuit states.

Brantley was taken to Winchester Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the lawsuit, an autopsy determined that the child died as a result of a malformation of his cervical vertebrae that had been previously undiagnosed.

Schiavone was not available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The suit alleges medical negligence on behalf of Schiavone, within the scope of his employment at Blue Ridge Pediatric Associates.

“Plaintiffs, as natural parents of Brantley James Cyr, entrusted his medical care and well-being to defendant Schiavone and were in the circumstances presented necessarily dependant upon him to provide their infant son with appropriate medical care and attention,” the suit states.

As a result of Brantley’s “negligently caused death,” his mother, father and brother have suffered sorrow, mental anguish and emotional distress, in addition medical expenses and a loss of income, among other things, according to the suit.

The suit was filed on behalf of the parents by McLean attorneys Robert B. Adams and Timothy R. Obitts of Gammon & Grange PC.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com