Heather O'Rourke, the young actress pulled into a supernatural vacuum in the "Poltergeist" movies, died because the doctors who treated her throughout her childhood failed to diagnose a long-standing obstruction of the small bowel that led to her death on Feb. 1, according to a wrongful-death suit filed Wednesday by a law firm representing the girl's mother.
The 12-year-old actress, who warned, "They're heeere!" in "Poltergeist" and "They're baaack!" in the sequel, died on the operating table at Children's Hospital of San Diego. At the time, hospital officials said, death was attributed to septic shock, which caused cardiac arrest. Officials explained that septic shock was brought on by congenital stenosis of the intestine, a bowel blockage the girl evidently had from birth.
The suit, filed in San Diego Superior Court against Kaiser Foundation Hospital of San Diego and Southern California Permanente Medical Group on behalf of Kathleen O'Rourke Peel, Heather's mother and the administrator of her estate, did not specify damages. She lives in the San Diego County community of Lakeside.
Decline to Comment
Spokesmen for the Kaiser hospital and the medical group declined to comment on the charges in the lawsuit.
"We have reviewed the case extensively and we are convinced that the care we provided was appropriate," a Kaiser Permanente spokesman said.