On Friday, May 25th, a Bronx jury awarded $120 million to a woman who suffered brain damage after being treated at several New York City Hospitals following a seizure. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jacqueline Martin, who has been incapacitated since being treated at three NYC hospitals in 2004, by her mother.
The ruling by the State Supreme Court jury allocated 50 percent of responsibility to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, 40 percent to Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, five percent to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, and four percent to a neurologist.
Jacqueline Martin was also allocated one percent responsibility, however the family’s attorney stated that this allocation was a result of jury misunderstanding.
Ms. Martin developed swelling in her face, eyes, and throat after having an allergic reaction to an anti-seizure medication. She was later diagnosed with Stevens-Johnsons syndrome. The suit alleged that medical personnel poorly managed Martin’s medications, did not respond swiftly to crises, and did not provide essential treatments. As a result Martin suffered brain damage that has left her incapacitated.
The New York Times reported that the City plans to appeal the award and a representative for the hospitals stated that the “judgment [was] not consistent with the facts and the law.” Martin earned around $40,000 per year as a claims adjuster yet was awarded ten million in lost earnings. Additionally she was awarded five million for past medical costs, though according to the corporation representing the hospitals, the costs were around $583,000 and were paid by Medicaid.
Although the Corporation claims that these two elements of the award were excessive, the “excessive” fifteen million seems to be minimal in comparison to the $120 million the injured woman was awarded by the jury suggesting the magnitude of the Martin’s situation warranted the high award.
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