On April 17, 2019, a Florida medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $24.5 million in favor of the family of a 34-year-old mother of three older children who died shortly after giving birth to her fourth child.
The Florida medical malpractice jury deliberated for about two hours after a two-day damages only trial before awarding the woman’s husband $3.675 million, the three older children $4.9 million each, and $6.125 million to the woman’s daughter who was born hours before her mother’s death. The damages awards to the children were for “the loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance and her pain and suffering as a result of [their mother’s] injury and death.” The children had previously received $1 million each for their losses.
The defense stipulated to liability just weeks before the jury trial to determine the amount of compensatory damages. One of the plaintiffs’ lawyers stated that the defense’s stipulation of negligence in the woman’s death was calculated to limit the amount of the jury’s award to the family: “I think they made that decision in order to keep the verdict down but I think the jury still saw the pain and suffering that this family suffered and will continue to suffer.”
The defense lawyer argued to the jurors that they should award a total of $4 million to the family as fair compensation for the loss of their wife/mother. In asking the Florida medical malpractice jury to award a total of $41 million to the family, the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyer told the jury, “[The husband] made a choice to honor the commitment that he made to his wife. The kids made a choice to continue to try to make Mom proud even though she’s not here anymore. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t carry this horrific loss with them every single day. This family hasn’t moved on.”
After the Florida medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers stated, “It really was about the family members. I think [jurors] were able to truly understand what they had been through and how difficult it had been and how difficult the future was going to be after losing their wife and their Mom.”
The Underlying Facts
The woman was scheduled for a Cesarean section delivery of her baby on July 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. However, the Cesaraen section was not performed until after midnight on July 22, 2015 (over 14 hours later), and was not performed on an emergency basis. The woman bled to death shortly after the delivery.
If you or your baby suffered a birth injury (or worse) during labor, delivery, or shortly after birth in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida birth injury lawyer, or a birth injury lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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