A jury sided with the parents of an injured child in their lawsuit against two physicians and a nurse practitioner at Tufts Medical Center. The child, Edward Xu, now aged 9 years, was born prematurely.
The Xu family alleged that the three health care practitioners were negligent in their response to Xu’s symptoms of a potentially fatal condition affecting newborn infants. Because of this negligence, a portion of the baby’s intestines had to be removed. He is now unable to digest food and requires continuous overnight tube feeding.
“[The clinicians] performed early medical and surgical interventions to save his life, using the most advanced techniques available,” Tufts Medical Center said in a press release. “Our care team is saddened that the best medicine available could not give him a better outcome.”
Half of the infants born at Tufts Medical Center the same year as Xu and under similar circumstances developed medical complications, and as many as 15% died, the hospital noted.
While the jury was deliberating, attorneys for both sides reached what is known as a “high/low agreement,” in which both parties agree to a maximum and a minimum award amount, depending on the jury verdict.
The jury ultimately found the nurse practitioner not liable, but award approximately $30 million to the Xu family. This was then reduced to $5.3 million, the agreed upon maximum award.
Insurance will pay the verdict, according to the plaintiff’s attorney, and the Xu family may still be able to explore other ways to satisfy the jury’s judgment.