On March 27, 2015, a Colorado medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $17.8 million, the largest medical malpractice verdict ever in Colorado, for the severe and permanent injury to her four-day-old baby that allegedly resulted from being given the wrong dose of medication shortly before undergoing surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. After interest and costs are added, the verdict will exceed $20 million. The medical malpractice trial had begun on March 16, 2015.
The Colorado medical malpractice jury’s verdict included $557,823 for medical and related expenses from the date of surgery to the present time that were related to her injury, and an additional $1.9 million for anticipated medical and related expenses related to her injury from now until the child’s eighteenth birthday (the child is currently seven-years-old). The jury also awarded an additional $12.2 million for medical and related expenses for future anticipated medical and related expenses and $2.1 million for the child’s anticipated loss of earnings capacity after the age of eighteen.
The Colorado medical malpractice jury awarded $952,000 for noneconomic damages, which will be reduced to $300,000 under Colorado’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.
The Underlying Facts
The baby was born at a Colorado Springs hospital on February 6, 2008. Shortly after her birth, it was discovered that she had a common congenital heart defect that required her to be transferred to a major Colorado hospital in Aurora, Colorado for surgery to repair the heart defect. The baby was administered a drug that she was required to have until her surgery. Prior to surgery, the baby went into cardiac arrest for an unknown reason, but she was successfully resuscitated.
During the February 10, 2008 surgery to repair her congenital heart defect, the baby suffered a second cardiac arrest incident allegedly due to the wrong dose of medication having been administered to her before surgery, causing her to suffer catastrophic neurological injury (hypoxic ischemic brain injury). It took 33 minutes to resuscitate the baby, according to the plaintiff’s lawyers. As a result, the child suffers from cerebral palsy and other serious medical conditions that result in cognitive impairment, impairment of her motor skills, and intellectual impairment. Her injuries require her to have 24-hour medical care and supervision.
The defendant Colorado hospital has vowed to appeal the jury’s verdict.
After the Colorado medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the child’s mother said, “No family should have to go through what we’ve had to endure. Our family has experienced incredible pain throughout this very difficult situation.” One of the plaintiff’s lawyers added, “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict. Clearly the jury understood the complexity of this medical malpractice case. While this verdict cannot erase the suffering of [the child] and her family, it will at least ensure her ongoing needs and care – for the rest of her life – are provided for.”
If you or a family member suffered injuries in Colorado that may be due to medical negligence, you should promptly find a Colorado medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Colorado medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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