Our client was born premature at 26 weeks. The first 10 days of his life he developed a grade four periventricular bleed on the left and a grade 3 periventricular bleed on the right. It goes without saying that he suffered a lot of brain damage as a result of these bleeds which had him developmentally delayed. The first seven months of his life he spent in AI DuPont Children’s Hospital dealing with these issues. Once he was stabilized he was transferred to defendant’s pediatric nursing home as he had a trach and was vent dependent. It was our expert’s opinion that he would’ve been trach free in five years but probably closer to two. At that point in time he would’ve been able to go home. Our expert opined that as a result of his brain injury from his prematurity he would’ve suffered mild to moderate permanent neurologic damage. While in the pediatric nursing home he was also on a feeding tube. Once again it was our experts opinion that he would’ve been able to be weaned off of the feeding tube within a couple years.
At eight months of age (5 months corrected age) he was found in cardiac arrest as a result of the trach being dislodged and his pulse oximeter not being attached to him in addition to being turned off. Our theory of the case was that if the pulse oximeter had been attached per the physician’s orders as his oxygen saturation went down the alarms would’ve gone off the problem found, corrected and he would’ve suffered no further injury. This was born out as he had had prior desaturations from plugs and other complications with the trach. It was defendant’s position that while they were negligent there negligence did not cause any further injury. Accordingly they stipulated to negligence but went to trial on causation. At the end of the trial we moved for a directed verdict on causation as we got the defendant experts to agree that the anoxic event did cause further brain injury. They still held to the position that he would’ve needed the total care he gets today as opposed to being able to go home as our expert testified to. Our life care plan totaled $19 million.
The verdict was for $8,490,000.00
The jury ended up splitting the difference between our projected lifespan and the defendant’s highest projected lifespan.
Now the rest of the story, we have just prepared a delay damages petition requesting another 1.7 million in delay damages.