A New York jury recently delivered one of the largest medical malpractice damage awards ever in the Empire State. After a complicated trial, jurors believed that a Long Island, N.Y., girl and her family deserved $130 million for the birth injuries she suffered in 2002.
The victim, Shannon, suffers from severe cerebral palsy. The 10-year-old is unable to speak or walk, even though she is aware of what’s going on in the world around her. She will remain confined to a wheelchair for her life, and needs around-the-clock assistance to survive.
Although the damages award is large, it is a perfectly rational figure when considering her past and future medical and care expenses. Shannon’s family will be able to give her the best quality of life possible, but she would have had a normal childhood had hospital staff followed the acceptable standard of medical care.
The defendant, St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, had previously won the case at the trial level. Shannon’s lawyer appealed and was granted a new trial. In the second trial, the jury was convinced that a nurse failed to properly monitor Shannon before she was born, causing her to suffer severe brain damage.
This case shows the need for an experienced birth injury attorney. A skilled lawyer knows when to keep fighting, even when it takes considerable time and expense to win every dollar his or her client deserves.
Source: Insurance Journal, “New York Family Awarded $130M In Medical Malpractice Lawsuit,” April 19, 2013