On May 7, 2015, a Massachusetts medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of the 35-year-old plaintiff in the amount of $35.4 million. The plaintiff had suffered a massive stroke within hours after giving birth in 2008, allegedly as a result of the medical negligence of the defendants. With interest added to the amount of the verdict, the judgment will increase to over $41 million. The defendants have vowed to appeal.
The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendants, a physician and her medical practice, had treated the plaintiff for dizziness after she ran the Boston Marathon in 2004. The defendant physician ordered an MRI and CT scan of the woman that revealed that she had abnormalities of her brain that would be important for future medical providers to know when making decisions regarding her medical care. In order to make sure that future medical providers had access to this important information, the defendant physician should have placed the woman’s name on a special list of patients but allegedly failed to do so.
In 2012, when the plaintiff became pregnant, her obstetrician was unaware of the patient’s brain abnormalities, which would require that she be delivered by Cesarean section and not go through labor, because the plaintiff’s name was not on the special list. As a result, her labor and delivery were allowed to proceed vaginally, which was dangerous under the circumstances.
Within hours of delivering a healthy baby girl, the woman suffered a massive stroke, paralyzing her whole body except for movement in her right arm. The plaintiff is unable to walk and has difficulty with speech as a result of her stroke. She has therapy twice a week, remains at home most of the time, and requires 24-hour care, including the services of two caregivers every day, which costs in excess of $200,000 annually.
After the Massachusetts medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict, the plaintiff’s husband stated, “Any time you see your wife, your best friend, have this happen to her, and given the person that she was before all this happened, and given she wanted to be as a mother, in terms of playing a very active role in that capacity, it’s devastating to see … We always remain hopeful but I think that given that we’re going on seven years into this, I think Andrea’s situation is likely the way it will be for the future moving forward. But that doesn’t preclude us from keeping those prayers alive.”
A spokesperson for the defendant medical practice stated after the verdict, “Our hearts go out to Andrea Larkin and her family. However, we respectfully disagree with the jury’s finding in this case and intend to pursue all available legal measures.”
If you suffered harm as a result of medical negligence in Massachusetts, you should promptly find a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your Massachusetts medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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