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Top 10 Largest Medical Malpractice Settlements

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Every patient deserves high-quality medical care when they need treatment. In some nightmarish cases though, doctors make irreversible medical mistakes. This can cause horrible damages such as heart attack, brain injury, blood clots, or wrongful death.

A 2016 study by Johns Hopkins estimated that preventable medical errors cause over 250,000 deaths annually in the United States. This makes it the third most common killer behind heart disease and cancer. A 2020 study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine disputed this claim, arguing that only about 7150 previously healthy people die each year due to hospital error.

Law firms can help people negatively impacted by poor healthcare, and in severe cases, the patient can be compensated millions in damage for medical malpractice verdicts. Check out ten of the most expensive medical malpractice cases in the United States, all of which exceed $50 million.

10: $53 Million for Neglect During Birth

Following a medical malpractice lawsuit, Lisa and her son Isaiah Ewing received a verdict of $53 million from the University of Chicago Medical Center. Although the university hospital denied any malpractice, the lawsuit accused them of 20 errors. 

The incident began when Lisa, 40 weeks pregnant, visited the facility concerned about her baby’s reduced movement. Doctors failed to notice an abnormal heart rate, did not take accurate cord blood gases, and did not carefully monitor the Ewings’ conditions

Due to this neglect, the doctors waited too long to perform a cesarean section. This example of malpractice led Isaiah to severe cerebral palsy, causing his inability to walk, dress, or feed himself. 

9: $58.6 Million for Delayed C-Section

Similar to the Ewing family, Cathy and Domenic D’Attilo pursued a medical malpractice case after their son Daniel suffered severe brain damage during birth. They were awarded a $58.6 million settlement following the case against a negligent doctor at Stamford Hospital. 

The doctor waited too long to begin a cesarean section after birth complications arose. Daniel was born blue, his body starved of oxygen

He experienced multiple seizures shortly after birth. Daniel now cannot walk, has to be fed through a tube, cannot speak, and suffers incontinence.

8: $62 Million for Lost Legs

A Brooklyn jury awarded Stacy Galette $62 million after her medical malpractice lawsuit against Winthrop-University Hospital and three doctors. 

When Stacy visited the hospital to remove an ectopic pregnancy, which grows outside the uterus, the surgeon punctured her bowel. Despite her complaints, the hospital discharged her, only to readmit her the next day.

Stacy quickly started suffering the effects of gangrene. To halt the infection, doctors cut off both of her legs. Stacy’s attorney claimed that Stacy had not been able to work since the incident one year prior.

7: $74.525 Million for Prolonged Pushing

In another unfortunate case of childbirth gone wrong, Andrew and Jennifer Blunt were awarded $74.525 million after a medical malpractice case. The case was on behalf of their daughter, Sofia Blunt, against the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. 

During childbirth, Jennifer was in the second stage of childbirth for over four hours. During this time, the doctor neglected to assess contractions for half an hour. They did not perform an episiotomy, use a vacuum, or use forceps to aid in the delivery, and afterward, they did not intubate or ventilate Sofia. 

The facility refused to take responsibility for their mistakes, and authorities proved that they had falsified medical records and destroyed evidence.

6: $101 Million After a Six-Hour Wait

When Tequila Snow was 34-months pregnant with Gerald Sallis, she visited West Suburban Medical Center because she was concerned that her baby was not moving. Due to medical negligence, the jury awarded them $101 million after their malpractice case.

Once she arrived, hospital staff did not monitor Tequila’s condition or check the oxygen levels of her unborn baby for six hours. The prolonged lack of oxygen was determined to have caused Gerald severe brain damage, and this was avoidable if a cesarean section had been performed.

He is unable to walk or talk, and he requires 24-hour care, which he now receives at home with his mother.

5: 110 Million After an Asthma Attack

The Bronx Supreme Court awarded $110 Million to Keimoneia Reddish after her medical malpractice case against St. Barnabas Hospital.

When the hospital admitted Keimoneia for an asthma attack, her condition only worsened. The staff neglected to transport her to a nearby facility with the proper equipment to handle the CO2 buildup in her brain. As a result, she suffered permanent brain damage which reduced her motor function and speech.

Keimoneia was in the hospital and nursing homes for 328 days following the incident and is now wheelchair-bound, taken care of by her partner.

4: $135 Million for Major Loss of Function

Faith DeGrand was awarded $135 million following her medical malpractice case against the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Doctors inserted rods and screws into Faith’s spine when she was ten years old to treat her scoliosis. After the surgery, doctors ignored her intense pain and did not treat the compression of her spinal cord. She was stuck, paralyzed, and incontinent, while her doctor took 2 vacations. This continued until another doctor noticed her condition and took action.

By the time doctors treated her, she permanently lost control of her bowels and bladder. This left her with quadriparesis in both her arms and legs.

3: $172 Million for Unprepared EMTs

A Bronx jury awarded Tiffany Applewhite $172 million after a medical malpractice lawsuit against New York City for an incident that had occurred 16 years prior. Tiffany suffered anaphylactic shock at twelve years old and suffered seizures after a home nurse injected steroids to treat her uveitis. 

Her mother called 911 when she went into cardiac arrest. The EMTs that arrived, however, did not bring the oxygen, epinephrine, or defibrillator necessary for treating anaphylaxis. They called an advanced life support ambulance and performed CPR for 20 minutes rather than drive her to the nearby hospital.

Tiffany’s brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation has left her paralyzed and unable to speak. She requires a feeding tube, a wheelchair, diapers, and constant care to survive.

2: $190 Million Apology for Creepy Doctor

Following a disturbing medical malpractice case, Johns Hopkins Hospital paid $190 million to over 7,000 women for the abhorrent behavior of Dr. Nikita Levy. 

A gynecologist and obstetrician for 25 years, Nikita used a hidden pen camera to record women during pelvic exams. He was fired when the hospital confirmed a coworker’s reported suspicions were confirmed, and he committed suicide 10 days later. 

The FBI determined that Nikita didn’t share the 1,000+ pictures and videos on his computer. Regardless, this prolonged injustice shattered many women’s trust in the medical system and impacted their daily lives.  

1: $216.8 Million for Justice

A jury awarded Allan Navarro $216.7 million following his medical malpractice case against the Tampa University Community Hospital. They pursued the case after doctors misdiagnosed stroke symptoms for a headache. 

When Allan arrived at the ER with complaints of nausea, dizziness, double vision, and headache, doctors diagnosed him with sinusitis and gave him a painkiller prescription. He returned the next day in far worse shape, requiring surgery to relieve swelling in his brain. He fell into a coma for three months afterward. 

The damage put Allan in a wheelchair, and he is now at risk of suffocating every time he eats. Seeking justice more than money, Allan’s family and attorneys announced their plan to donate the $101.1 million awarded for punitive damages to charities that help people with brain and spinal cord injuries.

If you need to request medical records for a medical malpractice lawsuit, ChartRequest can help. To see how our secure software can simplify medical records retrieval for your law firm, schedule a demo today.

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