Death of 2-year-old at DayCare Center Wins $12.5 Million
Twelve days after a day care center was ordered by the State not to permit toddlers to climb on a five-foot climber/slide platform, the day care center allowed a two-year-old boy to climb on the platform and fall, resulting in spinal injury and death. No day care center staff saw the fall. The day care center and the day care center's owner were sued for wrongful death.
At trial, evidence was presented that a State inspection of the day care center, conducted one day after the child's death, found numerous violations, including failing to maintain an adequate child/staff ratio, failing to supervise children at all times, failing to maintain a proper depth-resilient surface beneath playground equipment, and permitting children on equipment that was not age-appropriate. The State permanently revoked the day care center's license to operate following the death of this child.
Following the presentation of evidence, the Court rendered an award in the amount of $12,500,000. $2,500,000.00 of this amount was awarded as compensatory damages and $10,000,000.00 of this amount was awarded as punitive damages.
$5 Million Dollar Settlement (Present Value) - Failure to Treat Shunt Malfunction
A child was born prematurely and as a result, had placement of a shunt for prevention of build-up of intracranial pressure. When the child was approximately one year old, the mother took the child to a pediatric neurosurgeon because she suspected shunt malfunction/obstruction as result of the child's lethargic condition and vomiting. In the past, a physician performed a shunt revision, a brief procedure, to restore the draining ability of the shunt. The child was admitted for CT scan to determine whether the shunt was malfunctioning.
Despite the fact that the CT scan confirmed increased intracranial pressure as a result of the shunt malfunction, no physician performed a shunt revision. Nurses, despite a significant drop in the child's vital signs, failed to summon a physician. Approximately 10 hours after the CT scan was performed, as a result of the uncontrolled build-up of intracranial pressure, the child suffered a brain herniation and posterior cerebral infarct. This child was rendered quadriplegic, is blind, has severe cognitive and communication disorders and has suffered other permanent life-altering problems. In addition, this child will always have to be fed by use of a gastrostomy tube (g-tube) and will never be able to eat solid foods or drink liquids by mouth. Resolved by settlement in 2005.
$3 Million Recovery: Failure to Diagnose Meningitis and Brain Infection
The 44 year-old patient had a brain infection (listeria encephalitis with meningitis) which was not diagnosed by an emergency room physician, nor by a neurologist. The ER physician failed to consider the possibility of a neurological infection despite neurological symptoms (double vision and one eye pointed inward toward his nose) and an elevated temperature. A lumbar puncture done at the ER would have lead to the diagnosis and allowed early antibiotic treatment to arrest the progress of the infection. A neurologist who saw the patient the next day misread an MRI scan and concluded in error that his patient had multiple sclerosis.
After a four day delay, the untreated bacterial infection had grown, almost doubling in size, causing permanent and disabling injury, resulting in the inability to walk and difficulty speaking. The patient is no longer able to independently perform the normal activities of daily living. After years battling through the court system, the recovery in this action will allow this honorable man to move out of his mother’s apartment and obtain the care necessary to live in his own residence. The recovery will also pay for any necessary future medical care, including possible future surgeries to alleviate tremors and other consequences of the misdiagnosis.