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Teen found dead in minivan suffered from spine problems

Posted: 3:20 PM, Apr 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-13 03:11:28Z

CINCINNATI -- The 16-year-old boy found dead in a minivan near Seven Hills School Tuesday night suffered from spine development problems and other medical conditions that his family alleged were at least partially caused by medical malpractice. 

At 3 years old, Kyle Plush was seeing an orthopedic surgeon, wearing a brace used to stabilize spine deformities and attending regular therapy sessions to help his conditions, according to court records.

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Doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center wrote that Plush had a history of epidural hematoma -- bleeding between the brain's outer membrane and the skull -- after he received a spinal tap due to a vitamin K deficiency. He also suffered from the spine conditions scoliosis and kyphosis, doctors wrote.

The family sued the hospital in 2003, accusing Plush's doctors of failing to order tests which would have caught the hemorrhage despite signs that he was suffering from one. 

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Plush "suffered physical injury, a diminished enjoyment of life, disfigurement, impairment of lifetime earning capacity and unnecessary discomfort that will continue into the future," their lawsuit states. They also incurred more than $100,000 in medical bills. 

In 2006, the case was dismissed. The judge wrote that it appeared "all matters have been resolved between the parties." The case may have been settled. 

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Plush was found dead Tuesday night in a minivan in a parking lot at Seven Hills School, where he was a student. That afternoon, he had called 911 , asking for help and saying he was trapped in a van in the school parking lot. Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco said Kyle died from asphyxiation due to chest compression. 

Visitation has been scheduled from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 15 at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home at 2050 Beechmont Ave. A service will follow Monday morning at St. Rose Church on Riverside Drive. Click here for more info.

In a statement Thursday night, Seven Hills School officials called Plush "a young person of keen intelligence, good humor (and) great courage." 

"We feel this loss profoundly," the school said in the statement. 

The school's counseling staff and outside grief counselors are providing ongoing support for students and others.