A Colorado family, whose infant daughter suffered brain damage and permanent injuries as a result of being given a wrong medication, has been awarded a $17.8 million verdict.

The judgment, awarded by a jury against Children’s Hospital Colorado is believed to be the biggest malpractice verdict in Colorado’s history.

 The child, Naomi Pressey, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect after her birth in 2008. Four days later she was transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado for surgery to repair her heart. Prior to surgery, the infant was given a wrong dosage of prostaglandin, and she went into cardiac arrest on the operating table.

Medical staff could not resuscitate the child for more than 30 minutes. When she was finally resuscitated, after 33 minutes, she suffered a severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury, resulting in cerebral palsy, among other conditions.

Pressey’s injuries require her to have lifelong round the clock care and supervision. Now aged 7 years, the child suffers from significant intellectual disability, cognitive impairment and motor skill impairment. Her mother filed suit on behalf of the child.

The trial lasted two weeks, with the jury finding for the plaintiff. With interest and costs, the verdict is expected to exceed $20 million. Of the awards — one million dollars that was given for non-economic damages — will be reduced to $300k due to state-mandated damage caps.

The hospital, while expressing regret for the outcome to the child, indicated that it would appeal the verdict.

References

  1. Arellano M. (2015, April 5.) Children’s Hospital ordered to pay $17.8M in malpractice. Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved from https://www.cpr.org/news/newsbeat/childrens-hospital-ordered-pay-178m-malpractice
  2. Coffman K. (2015, April 3.) Family of Colorado infant given wrong drug dose awarded $17.8 million. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/slideshow/clinical-quiz/multiple-blisters-on-the-extremities/
  3. Armbrister M. (2015, April 3.) $17.8 million malpractice verdict against Children’s Hospital Colorado. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2015/04/03/17-8-million-verdict-entered-against-childrens.html?page=all