$45.6 million award for paralyzed 14-year-old boy

Friday June 5, 2015

Medical malpractice lawsuits seek to hold doctors, medical staff and medical entities responsible for failing to meet the standard of care in medical treatments and services. The parents of a 14-year-old boy from Long Island, New York, filed such a lawsuit after their son had surgery in order to correct the boy’s scoliosis. The surgery was done in 2002 and he was 22 in 2010 when he passed away. Complications from being paralyzed played a role in his death.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, there were four screws misplaced during the surgery that caused the paralysis by pressing on the boy’s spinal cord. In addition, the parents’ attorneys said the hospital lied about how the boy’s paralysis occurred. The hospital told the parents the boy had a stroke. They allegedly also said that a CT scan showed no damage to the boy’s spinal cord.

The boy might have had a chance to walk again if a CT had actually been done and the screws removed; however, there was no CT done. Despite being paralyzed, the patient was able to graduate from State University of New York and drove a car with special hand controls.

The jury awarded the parents $5 million for each year their son lived after the surgery — for eight years. The hospital says, “the verdict has no basis in law or fact” and plans to appeal.

Medical malpractice cases can take a substantial amount of time. If you or a loved one suffered because of a doctor’s negligence, an attorney can review the particulars of your case and determine if a malpractice suit is viable.

Source: Outpatient Surgery, “Jury Awards $45.6 Million in Pediatric Paralysis Case,” Jim Burger, June 04, 2015

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