It’s a nightmare no parent should ever have to endure: seeing their own child rendered helpless by the negligence of health care providers. That’s exactly what a woman far from us here in New York has to live with, however, after her toddler suffered irreversible brain damage in a case of medical malpractice.
A Louisiana jury recently awarded the woman $24.2 million after he was permanently harmed during a surgery seven years ago.
The mother sued the hospital and the maker of the infusion pump that failed during the surgery to correct a congenital heart defect when her son was just three years old.
When the pump failed, it sent the adrenaline drug epinephrine into the toddler’s body, triggering cardiac arrest.
The child was examined in court during the malpractice trial. Afterwards, the jury found that he would need $20 million to cover future medical expenses.
The companies that made the infusion pump settled with the child’s family in May, so they were excused from the trial. However, the jury wasn’t informed of that settlement.
The companies would have had to pay 65 percent of the damages, the jury determined, or $15.7 million.
However, because the agreement between the companies and the family is confidential, it isn’t known if that amount is more or less than what the jury determined.
The hospital admitted liability in the case and paid the mom $100,000. That’s the maximum under the state’s medical malpractice cap.
However, Louisiana also has a state compensation fund, which is a state-administered resource. It is accountable for 35 percent of the damages, or about $8.5 million.
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