Estate of Woman killed at Gosnell abortion clinic sues city of Philadelphia

By Dave Andrusko

Karna Maya Mongar, shown with her husband.

The estate of Karna Maya Mongar, who died in 2009 at abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic, is suing the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health and City Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz in Federal Court for what the lawsuit says was a “policy of inaction” at Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health that led to her death.

Her daughter, Yashoda Devi Gurung, seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, claiming the city failed to enforce policies “that allow … employees to share reports of hazardous and/or unsafe conditions to other divisions of PDPH.”

The lawsuit was first reported by the web site Courthouse News Service at www.courthousenews.com/2011/11/23/41684.htm.

“Yashoda Devi Gurung says her mother’s death could have been prevented if the Department of Public Health had heeded repeated warnings from city health workers about the deplorable conditions at Gosnell’s facility,” according to Reuben Kramer of Courthouse News.

That “policy of inaction,” the estate says, “ultimately cost Karna Maya Mongar her life.”

According to a scathing 281-page report from a Grand Jury, Mrs. Mongar, a 41-year refugee from Bhutan, died after receiving “repeated unmonitored, unrecorded intravenous injections” of Demerol, administered by unqualified personnel in Gosnell’s absence.

Six of Gosnell’s employees have already pled guilty to charges up to and including murder. In exchange for a lesser charge, one agreed to testify against Gosnell, whom prosecutors assert made millions in what the Grand Jury described as “a baby charnel house.”

Gosnell stands accused of eight counts of murder. Seven were babies aborted alive whose spinal cords were severed with surgical scissors. He is charged with third degree murder in the case of Mrs. Mongar, who had come to Philadelphia from her home in Virginia.

The lawsuit alleges a pattern in which on the rare occasion the abortion clinic was inspected city employees would find serious health conditions but nothing would be done by those in authority.

For example, a year before Mrs. Mongar’s death and again a month before she died in November 2009, city employee Lori Matijkiw found deplorable conditions in Gosnell’s clinic. The first time she “took note of the dirty and hazardous conditions of the office, the lack of required documentation of refrigerator temperatures, bloody fetuses stored in a freezer just below ice trays containing chicken pox vaccines, and ‘red fluid spilled/frozen on the floor of the freezer,’” according to the complaint. Nothing was done, according to her daughter.

Referring to the estate’s complaint Kramer reported

“In October 2009, a month before Mongar’s death, Matijkiw returned ‘and found that it was still filthy, still contained expired vaccines and still lacked appropriate refrigerator temperature documentation,’ the complaint states.

“’Matijkiw also discovered several more deplorable conditions. She discovered that the doctor on site … was not licensed in Pennsylvania and falsely claimed to have a Delaware medical license,’ according to the complaint.

“’Most disturbing is Matijkiw’s report that she saw patients being escorted into the procedure area of the clinic despite the fact that Gosnell was not on the premises,’ the complaint states.”

Although Gosnell is charged in the murders of seven viable babies born alive, the Grand Jury concluded that hundreds of these late-term babies were killed over the decades. In addition the Grand Jury believed that at least one more woman died, but there no records to substantiate their conclusion.

When police raided Gosnell’s clinic—looking for evidence that Gosnell was illegally selling thousands of oxycontin prescription—they  found abhorrent conditions, which included jars packed with severed baby feet lining the shelves; bags and bottles of aborted fetuses scattered throughout the office; bloodstained furniture and floors; and unlicensed employees who regularly injected sedatives into women having illegal, late-term abortions, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

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