Jury Awards Plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice can have devastating impacts on families, especially when the malpractice results in the wrongful death of a loved one.
In 2010 a two-month old baby was admitted to a Kentucky emergency room with bronchiolitis. He was treated at the hospital for two days but his condition continued to get worse instead of better. When the attending pediatrician asked for assistance with intubating him, the physician who came to help actually had no experience whatsoever intubating an infant. During intubation, the endotracheal tube was placed into the right mainstream bronchus but it was later retracted. He died on January 26 after his condition continued to deteriorate.
Prior to the trial both the attending pediatrician and the hospital settled.
Plaintiffs alleged during trial that the emergency room physician was medically negligent. Though he had never before intubated an infant, he did not wait to make sure that the endotracheal tube was placed correctly and he did not wait to make sure that the airway was stabilized. According to the plaintiffs this would be an acceptable standard of care and the doctor failed to meet the standard. They also had experts who testified that the intubation was not properly managed, that the tube became dislodged and that the baby suffered from oxygen deprivation and he suffocated.
Plaintiffs also argued that the physician was not supervised adequately and that his employer was negligent in hiring and vetting him. It was never determined whether he had been trained in treating pediatric patients. He had not been, as almost all of the care he had provided had been to adults, prior to his work in the emergency room.
However, the defendants said that it was not the duty of the doctor to stay with the patient after intubating, since the pediatrician was still there. Additionally, an expert for the defense, a pediatric critical care physician, stated that he did not believe it was oxygen deprivation that lead to the baby’s death. He believes that the baby suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition and that an enlarged heart actually caused the child’s death. This critical care physician says that it was the responsibility of the attending pediatrician and other hospital staff to diagnose and treat the heart condition.
The defense continued on to argue that it was the defendant’s superior who deviated from the standard of care. It was the defendant’s superior who admitted the baby to the hospital and ordered the initial x-rays and failed to diagnose the enlarged heart.
Both the plaintiff and defendant’s interpretation of events implicate the defendant emergency medical group as being liable. The jury deliberated for a day and found the defendant emergency medical group and the defendant emergency room physician to be negligent. Plaintiffs were awarded damages totaling $6,152,618.37 for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of affection and companionship, and damages for the negligence of the hiring and supervision of the doctor by the doctor’s employer.
If You Have a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice can have devastating impacts on families, especially when the malpractice results in the wrongful death of a loved one. Victims of medical malpractice in Missouri should contact an experienced Missouri medical malpractice lawyer for help in holding doctors and hospitals responsible, and in obtaining the compensation they deserve.
If you believe that you or someone you love has a medical malpractice case, contact the St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation by calling (314) 588-7200 or filling out our online contact form.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.
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