A four-year-old boy, was brought to the hospital for a routine eyelid repair. To cut costs, the hospital contracted out its anesthesia services to a third-party corporation. The company was also looking to save money, so they employed mostly nurse anesthetists instead of trained doctors to administer anesthesia. The nurse designated to anesthetize our client was, as it turned out, not even certified.
Only minutes after the child was brought into the operating room, his heart stopped as a result of an overdose of halothane anesthesia. The doctors failed to promptly intervene, and he went without oxygen for fifteen minutes. Thankfully, our client survived, but his life was never the same after the procedure. He had suffered severe brain damage that led to cognitive impairment and other medical complications.
After his condition was stabilized, he was moved to another hospital for rehabilitative therapy. Essentially, he had to learn to talk and walk again. The boy's parents began a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold the hospital liable and seek damages to address the long-term care their son now required.
They argued that the hospital placed their son’s life in the hands of an unqualified medical professional who did not operate with the required standard of care. Another medical professional would not have administered the same type of anesthesia or the same dosage considering the risk of overdose.
The hospital’s doctors denied liability and tried to link our client's overdose to his previous medical history. They claimed that he either had an allergic reaction to the gas or suffered a separate injury before the medical procedure.
When the defendants refused to offer a fair settlement, the case proceeded to trial in Court. Our office presented the case to a jury over five weeks, and the jury was about to begin deliberation. Eight years later, the evidence we presented to the jury showed that he was learning at a first-grade level, and injuries prevented him from functioning normally. He couldn’t even tie his shoes or ride a bike.
The evidence of medical malpractice we presented to the jury was compelling, and the defendants ultimately agreed to settle the case for a future payout of $50 million to help pay for his pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and lifelong medical costs.
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