NASHVILLE — The family of Akilah DaSilva, one of the victims of the Waffle House shooting that happened in 2018, has filed a lawsuit against Vanderbilt University Medical Center, alleging doctors made an error that led to his death.
DaSilva was one of four people killed in the shooting in Antioch, just outside of Nashville in Tennessee.
The lawsuit alleges that two doctors who treated DaSilva at Vanderbilt placed the breathing tube in his esophagus rather than his trachea, “leading directly and promptly to significant injury and death.”
The lawsuit also claims that Vanderbilt “concealed or destroyed” an x-ray that showed the error. The suit also says Vanderbilt refuses to provide the x-ray to attorneys, even though medical records confirm it exists.
They’re seeking up to $80 million in damages.
DaSilva’s mother, Shaundelle Brooks, has also filed suit against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County, claiming the city is liable for the delayed response time of emergency personnel to the scene.
Vanderbilt spokesman John Howser released the following statement:
“Losing a family member to a violent attack of this kind is unthinkable, and our deepest sympathies are with the DaSilva family for their tragic loss. However, we absolutely disagree with the allegations in this lawsuit and intend to defend it vigorously. The Office of the Medical Examiner found that the cause of Mr. DaSilva’s death was the gunshot wounds he suffered. It’s unfortunate the DaSilva family has been persuaded to believe otherwise,” said John Howser, Chief Communications Officer for VUMC. “Mr. DaSilva received world class care from a highly accomplished trauma team. Unfortunately, many factors can impact a gunshot victim’s survival, including their condition before arrival at the ER, the caliber of the bullet and whether vital organs were hit. The allegations in the complaint are not true. Mr. DaSilva was not improperly intubated and VUMC has not concealed anything related to his care.”