Watch CBS News

Family Of Olivia Gant Notifies Children's Hospital Colorado Of Intent To Sue For Up To $25M

(CBS4) - CBS4 has learned that the estate of Olivia Gant, her father, grandparents and siblings have notified the hospitals and other entities that treated the girl who died at age 7 they intend to sue for up to $25 million. Olivia's mother, Kelly Turner is now charged with murdering her. A possible motive cited in criminal filings is a need for attention called "Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy" where a person will make up false symptoms for a person they are caring for sometimes to get sympathy.

olivia gant
Olivia Gant (credit: CBS)

Olivia came to Colorado from Texas for a new life with her mother and siblings. We now know the mother, Kelly Turner, brought with her a criminal background of felony injury to a child, impersonation of an emergency medical technician, forgery and more.

Ruby King knew her well in Texas and called her a liar. In October of 2019 she told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger, "You can't believe anything she has said. "Everything she has said has not been the truth of what we found out."

In 2012 Olivia's mother brought her to Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of constipation. It would evolve into surgeries and heavy doses of narcotics over some 1,000 visits in five years.

The intent to sue notice has gone to Children's, plus the University of Colorado which employs the hospital staff, as well as other entities including the University of Colorado Hospital Authority and Denver Hospice.

Attorney Hollynd Hoskins represents Olivia's family. In February of this year she told CBS4, "They would have done anything to save Olivia Gant. This is incredibly tragic and the family is absolutely devastated."

In the notice of claim the family alleges that the hospitals and their providers failed to check on the mother's criminal background, her blog for fundraising or with the Texas medical providers who had treated Olivia there. It states if they had investigated they would have learned the mother's claims about Olivia's health, including autism and tumors, were false.

Last year, CBS4 interviewed a family friend who was suspicious. She agreed to speak only without use of her name or face.

"To know that you were right is the worst feeling you could ever have," she said.

In the notice, Olivia's family claims that her treatments became more serious over time and that she was "thrown into a snake pit that the mother of the child could not create on her own." It states Olivia begged to "stop hurting her and taking her to the operating room." It claims that Medicaid was billed for over $1 million for services that were not medically necessary.

This prelude to a lawsuit claims that at hospital ethics committee meetings hospital staff debated whether they should stop the ongoing, systematic pattern of medical child abuse. Many believed she was not terminally ill.

Kelly Turner
Kelly Turner (credit: CBS)

The document states the mother, Kelly Turner, was observed throwing out drainage from a waste discharge bag attached to her daughter in order to mislead medical staff about her daughter's condition.

Hospital staff are accused in the legal document of failing to do mandatory reporting to authorities about medical child abuse.

Back in February, Hoskins revealed the family had hired attorneys, saying "They had grave concerns that providers at Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital itself and Denver Hospice failed Olivia Gant."

In the notice of claim it states Kelly Turner later demanded that Olivia's feeding tube be removed and that she be sent to hospice because she had terminal symptoms. At least one doctor reportedly refused, but others allegedly agreed. The mother's attention turned to a bucket list for Oliva. That included the much-publicized "Bat Princess" party through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. There, Olivia was able to carry out her fantasy of playing the role of a make believe character slaying villains. The organization that put on the event stated that it relies on information from a child's medical team as part of its procedures for granting a wish.

It was not long after that Olivia was put on a transport and driven to Denver Hospice.

There, her family claims they were only told she was sleepy due to narcotics not that she was starving due to her feeding tube being removed.

"Paw Paw I'm hungry," she told her grandfather, according to the family in the notice of intent.

On Aug. 20, 2017, Olivia was placed in her favorite pajamas, her hair fixed up and her favorite song Hakuna Matata played on a phone. Her death certificate states she had chronic intestinal failure, autism and seizure disorder. The notice of intent to sue states Olivia did not suffer from any of that and that the information was concealed. It claims she died from a pattern of medical child abuse resulting in medically ordered starvation and narcotics overdose.

Children's Hospital Colorado released the following statement to CBS4:

Unfortunately, HIPAA privacy rules prevent us from directly addressing this tragic and heartbreaking issue. We disagree with the characterizations and claims included in this story and in the threat to file a lawsuit letter that has been sent to more than a dozen healthcare organizations, and we will respond through appropriate legal channels. In the meantime, we remain focused on our mission to deliver the highest quality of care possible to our young patients and their families. 

Denver Hospice issued the following statement:

For the protection of all patients who seek medical care, patient privacy legislation under the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) restricts every healthcare provider's ability to respond to questions about the care provided to any individual.
In fact, under HIPAA, we do not have the right to acknowledge that an individual is currently, or has ever been, under our care.
As Denver's oldest and most respected hospice and palliative care provider, we've been privileged to care for countless individuals, including children and their families, over our 40 years of service. We grieve to this day for every one of those lives lost.
With regard to the matter that is currently in the news, our hearts naturally go out to everyone involved in this tragic case.
Our sole mission is to encircle those facing advanced illness with unprecedented levels of comfort, compassion and expert care.
In any criminal or civil investigation, we cooperate fully when contacted by the relevant authorities.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.