A Staten Island family was awarded just over $100 million dollars by a jury this week in a birth injury case. This case resulted from the birth of twins seventeen years ago. The mother felt that she was having contractions and went to a New York hospital; the hospital determined that she was not have any contractions, forcing her to go home and providing her with Benadryl.
However, the mother had been having contractions and the mother’s twin daughters were later born prematurely, weighing just under two pounds. The hospital claimed that they provided the mother with proper medical care under the circumstances but did not dispute the plaintiff allegations that the hospital forced her to return home.
Due to the premature birth of the twins, one of the twins suffered severe complications and now suffers from cerebral palsy. The jury awarded the family: $60 million in future pain and suffering; $17 million in past pain and suffering damages; future medical expenses; and lost wages.
Unfortunately, the hospital declared bankruptcy several years ago and the family will not be able to recover the whole award. But the family will still receive a significant amount, approximately $16 million dollars. The reason that the family will not see the whole award as the hospital, after declaring bankruptcy, is only liable for the insurance coverage they had. Despite the fact that the family will not be able to recover the full amount, the amount awarded is significant because it shows how serious and harsh a birth injury is on a family.
Also this week, a jury found an Oneonta hospital negligent and awarded the plaintiff a $100 million verdict. The jury found that the hospital failed to diagnose the plaintiff’s heart attack. The plaintiff went to the hospital complaining of extreme chest pain, however, she was left for four hours in the emergency room before was examined by a doctor to test for an electrocardiogram test. The plaintiff showed to the jury that she was exhibiting clear signs of a heart attack, yet the hospital merely gave the plaintiff anti-anxiety medication.
This is similar to another case I wrote up about two weeks ago regarding a man who also exhibited clear signs of a heart attack, went to the hospital, had abnormal vitals, but was still discharged. The man was found hours later dead in the hospital waiting room—he was waiting for a taxi to pick him up!
Though the hospital admitted the plaintiff over night she was not being treated for any heart related issues. Due to this failure, the plaintiff ending up losing seventy percent of her heart’s pumping capabilities. This much damaged occurred because as the plaintiff was left untreated for her heart attack causing tissue to be destroyed, and now the plaintiff’s heart only operates at thirty percent capacity.
The $100 million verdict was awarded to the plaintiff for future medical costs and pain and suffering. This award shows how serious the failure to diagnose a heart attack truly is and how much that mistake can affect a person and their family.
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