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2 Year Old Olivier Maciel gets Chemical Burns in his Throat

On November 10th, 2008, Claudia Maciel and her 2 year old son, Olivier, were visiting Claudia's grandmother at a nursing home care and rehabilitation facility in Tustin. They were eating lunch on an enclosed patio and Olivier went towards the patio bushes to try to play with a bunny he had seen. Moments later, Claudia heard Olivier scream. He was clutching his mouth sitting next to a drinking cup containing blue liquid. The cup contained liquid laundry detergent, which Olivier had drank after it had been left there by the housekeeping staff of the facility.

Olivier suffered third-degree chemical burns to his mouth, esophagus, and stomach. The esophagus chemical burns developed scarring which caused the esophageal passage to repeatedly constrict over time. Olivier had to be treated with surgical dialations under general anesthesia to widen the passage, which took place over a 4 year period. He was unable to eat solid foods after his accident, and required surgery to insert a gastronomy tube into the stomach that delivered food directly into his stomach.

Olivier had permanent damage to his digestive system from this accident. He will need annual endoscopies for the rest of his life, in which doctors will examine his throat and esophagus with a camera on a flexible tube, to make sure that he does not develop esophageal cancer. Olivier will also constantly experience acid reflux due to his esophageal sphincter being damaged, which will allow his stomach acids to move into the esophagus.

Bisnar Chase represented Claudia and Olivier in their case against the nursing facility and the company who was under contract to provide housekeeping and laundry services for the building. We put in over 2000 hours making sure that Olivier got the representation he needed with the best expert witnesses that could testify to the damages that Olivier Maciel had to endure. These witnesses included a gastroenterologist, a toxicologist, a child psychologist, a pediatric surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a medical billing expert, a nursting expert, a testing chemist, a housekeeping standard of care expert, and an economist.

As a result, Bisnar Chase won a 7-figure settlement from the housekeeping company that left the laundry detergent on the patio, and also collected a settlement from the nursing home facility, for a total of $10,030,000. This money was used to provide for the Maciel family, pay off their medical bills, and to set up a trust and annuity for Olivier Maciel to collect when he comes of age to pay for his higher education and other needs. "Olivier went through years of invasive surgeries to repair the damage to his body," says Olivier's lawyer, Scott Ritsema. "As he got older, Olivier became more and more aware of the surgical procedures, to the point he would become agitated and cry before every procedure. Thankfully his doctors were eventually able to stabilize his condition. Through our work, Olivier was fairly compensated for his horrific injuries and his future is now secure."

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