An Alabama medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $375,000 against a pediatrician for her alleged medical negligence that led to the death of a 3-year-old who was under her care. The hospital where the young child died reportedly paid the Alabama medical malpractice plaintiffs $750,000 days before the trial.
The Alabama medical malpractice trial lasted ten days and the jury deliberated for 24 hours before rendering its verdict. The Alabama medical malpractice jury was instructed that it should determine the total amount of damages and then subtract $750,000 from its verdict, to take into account the hospital’s settlement. The jury calculated the plaintiffs’ damages in the amount of $1.1 million and then reduced it by $750,000, which meant that the defendant pediatrician was liable for the balance of $375,000. The Alabama medical malpractice jury determined that another defendant pediatrician was not liable for the child’s death.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
On January 17, 2010, the child was experiencing abdominal pain along with nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Her parents brought her to the hospital’s emergency room and three days later, to one of the defendant pediatricians. The parents’ Alabama medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the pediatrician told them at that time that there was no need to bring their child to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. The plaintiffs contended that this pediatrician breached the standard of care by failing to personally examine the child while she was in the pediatric unit of the hospital and by allegedly ordering the nursing staff to not call him when lab results for the child became available. The Alabama medical malpractice wrongful death jury determined that this pediatrician was not responsible for the child’s death.
The other defendant pediatrician was the on-call doctor when she took over the care of the child. The parents’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that this pediatrician did not examine the child but instead handled her care over the telephone. The parents also faulted the defendant pediatrician for her failure to obtain the lab results from the testing ordered by the initial pediatrician that were abnormal and were critical to the diagnosis and treatment of the child.
The child was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham on January 21, 2010, where she died on February 9, 2010 from multiple organ failure.
The defense attorney for the defendant pediatrician whom the jury found responsible for the child’s death stated after the jury reached its verdict, “[The child] passed due to a rare, deadly, unknown virus. It was not detected by the eight or so health care officials involved in her care. We certainly respect the jurors but are disappointed by their decision.”
If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical negligence by a pediatrician in Alabama or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with an Alabama medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a malpractice case, if appropriate.
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