TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The daughter of a Thonotosassa man who died after a case of alleged malpractice, brought his story and her fight for change to one of the busiest corners in the world.
Keith Davis died three days after complaining of leg pain in a video he sent to his daughter in October 2020. Complications from a nine-inch blood clot that was allegedly missed by his doctor was blamed for his death.
Dr. Rathinam Krisnamoorthy did not admit he did anything wrong but following a Department of Health malpractice investigation, he agreed to a settlement with the state that included fines and continuing education. Krisnamoorthy has turned down multiple requests for comment.
Thousands of people in New York saw a tribute to Davis last week on the Times Square jumbotron, marking three years since his death.
Sabrina Davis, who has advocated for closing a loophole in Florida’s wrongful death law, paid for the billboard. The message at the bottom of the screen read, “Dad, I won’t give up.”
“It’s a promise I made to my dad when they put the phone to his ear after they called me and told me that he had died,” Davis said. “I’d like to think that he heard me. The billboard is part of that.”
Davis has led the push to close the loophole that restricts adult children 25 or older from suing in alleged malpractice cases involving single parents. Parents face the same restrictions in claims involving adult children.
Many others have joined the fight in recent years, most saying what Travis Creighton told 8 On Your Side after his mom died.
“No,” he said when asked if he knew about loophole before her death. “Absolutely not.”
State Rep. Johanna Lopez said she was also inspired by Davis.
“Here story moved me,” Lopez said. “This is about rights. This is not about money.”
The law Lopez sponsored is now named for Sabrina’s dad.
“It’s the Keith Davis Family Protection Act. Having my dad’s name on the bill is an honor,” Davis said. “I wish it never came to this but it does make it very powerful for me and I hope everyone can join the fight.”
But how well will it go in Tallahassee in 2024?
The bill did not make it onto the house floor for a vote during the 2023 session, crushing the momentum built after similar bills were approved during the two previous years only. Both versions died in the Senate committee.
A medical malpractice crisis three decades ago is why the loopholes were created. Now, opponents claim rates are still too high, and would go higher if the law is changed.
Davis argues that proves the restrictions have not worked.
“So, clearly the legislators’ goals 33 years ago failed,” Davis said. “And in return, it has created a cascade of unintended consequences for people like me. That’s what I’m fighting to change.”