SAN ANTONIO – A jury decided Friday a doctor is not to blame for the death of a 22-month-old boy.
Maddoux Cordova became unresponsive five hours after a dental procedure in December 2009.
A nurse injected the boy with morphine on the Dr. Brian Seastrunk’s orders, but Maddoux was given too much of the drug.
His family is shocked at the outcome of the doctor’s malpractice trial.
The toddler’s grandmother spoke only with News 4 about the verdict and her message for families.
"The rain came down as soon as the verdict was said,” Norma Eureste says. “I guess it's Maddoux's way of saying, 'Don't cry.'"
She’s fought for justice in little Maddoux’s death for nearly three years. That’s longer than he was alive.
"He had been asleep even when he left the facility and that's the way he stayed up until the time he died in my arms,” Eureste says.
After deliberating for more than an hour, a jury determined Dr. Seastrunk is not responsible for the tragic turn.
"It's a doctor’s worst nightmare to lose a patient,” the doctor’s attorney George Brin says. “And to be accused of being the cause of that is very difficult to deal with."
He says the doctor is relieved by the verdict but cautioned when a baby dies, there are no winners.
"Our hearts go out to them,” Brin says.
Eureste says Maddoux’s family is flummoxed by the verdict.
"We're all just in shock,” she says. “We're numb. We don't know how to react at this point."
She says it’s hard to believe the doctor will not be held responsible.
"The only the thing that kept me up is thinking about all the other kids this is has happened to,” Eureste says. “I don't want it to happen again. Let parents know – make sure to check doctors, ask questions, don't take anything for granted. Even though you don't have the medical, professional background, ask questions. It's so important."
She hopes if that’s Maddoux’s legacy, maybe her family will finally find peace.
The jury did find Village Specialty Surgical Center to blame for the toddler’s death. The family has already settled with the hospital for an unspecified amount of damages.