SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The parents of an infant who died from meningitis after he was released from Silverton Medical Center are suing the hospital for $6.3 million.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed Friday in the death of 7-month-old Blaize Wheeldon and accuses hospital staff of medical negligence and the negligent infliction of emotional distress.

It names a Silverton hospital emergency room doctor and Legacy Health, which operates the hospital, as defendants, The Statesman Journal reported.

Hospital officials said this week they were not aware of the lawsuit, but said it was Legacy Health’s practice to not comment on litigation.

According to the lawsuit, Blaize showed “significant signs and symptoms of systemic Meningococcemia” when he was first taken to the Silverton hospital on May 11, 2018.

The parents’ attorney accuses the treating ER physician of failing to properly assess these signs and symptoms, including the presence of a rash that nurses noted and an abnormal respiratory pattern.


Medical staff allegedly did not test for a meningococcal infection, instead giving Blaize Tylenol and sending him home after a few hours, according to the lawsuit.

Over the next few hours, Blaize’s fever and fussiness persisted and his parents took him back to the hospital. This time he was flown to a Portland hospital, where he died.

Because of the medical staff’s “unreasonable conduct,” Blaize’s condition worsened and resulted in his death, the lawsuit says.