Boston hospital sues Saudi Arabian prince over $3.5 million in unpaid bills for child with rare disease he agreed to sponsor

Boston hospital sues Saudi Arabian prince over $3.5 million in unpaid bills for child with rare disease he agreed to sponsor
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A Boston hospital has sued a Saudi prince over what they say is $3.5 million in unpaid bills for treatments given to a child with a rare disease who the prince is said to have promised to sponsor in full.

According to CNN, the Boston Children's Hospital, which describes itself as a "non-profit pediatric medical center" and a "worldwide leader in pediatric care and treatment of complex diseases and conditions" has sued Prince Abdelilah bin Abdelaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Faisal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Dr. Hamdy Dawoud, the personal physician and representative for the prince.

The complaint, which was filed at the federal district court of Massachusetts last week, claims that the pair owe the hospital $3.5 million, and then some, in unpaid medical bills concerning a girl suffering from type 1 spinal muscular atrophy whose care they had agreed to pay for previously.


The rare disease, which affects 1 in 12,000 people and which requires lifelong treatment, can be managed with an expensive drug called Spinraza, which is provided by Boston Children's Hospital and which can cost up to $750,000 per patient per year. The drug is not available in Saudi Arabia.

The complaint states that the hospital only agreed to treat the girl, who does not have health insurance in the US, because of the advocacy of Dawoud and two employees at Brigham and Women's Hospital who vouched for the prince.

It said that one of these advocates, Dr. Phillip Camp, a thoracic surgeon who described himself as the "Prince's surgeon and family friend," insisted the prince was "entirely serious about paying the cost personally, and has the means."

But after taking the patient on, the hospital claims the prince and Dawoud "have paid only $750,000 towards the patient's care despite repeated promises that additional payment will be forthcoming." This payment came as far back as December 2017, they said.


The complaint states that, since then, despite continuous efforts by hospital officials to collect payment and repeated promises that wire transfers had been scheduled, no money has been received. While the hospital has continued to treat the girl, the parents, who have reportedly been directly assured by the prince that he would transfer the money, are said to be unsure of their daughter's future.

"As of the filing of this Complaint, the patient continues to receive inpatient care at BCH, even though, as of this date, acute inpatient care is not necessary," the lawsuit read. "Although a transfer or discharge to assisted home care is warranted, it is highly unlikely that a rehabilitation facility or home care company will accept this patient without assurance of payment."

CNN reported that the lawsuit is seeking relief for breach of contract, as well as other charges, and is demanding a trial by jury.


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