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Girl with brain injury awarded $17M in medical malpractice case

Massachusetts residents entrust their well-being to physicians every day, relying on doctors' education and judgment to keep them healthy. Tragically, sometimes this trust is misplaced and the patient is left to pay a heavy price. In another state, a recent medical malpractice lawsuit involving a brain injury has attempted to address this issue, and while it cannot restore the victim's health, it can at least help make sure she will receive the care and treatment she needs.

The teenager suffered brain damage in 2008 at the age of 7. According to the civil complaint, the defendant took her off a ventilator too soon. According to the lawsuit, the girl was admitted to a medical center for treatment of her pneumonia approximately nine years ago. After undergoing surgery, she was placed on the ventilator.

Per the lawsuit, the girl was still sedated 10 days later and unable to breathe on her own. Nevertheless, the physician took her off the ventilator, apparently causing her to go into cardiac arrest. In attempting to stabilize her, medical personnel shocked her heart three times, and this is believed to have caused the injury that resulted in permanent damage to the part of the girl's brain that processes information. The lawsuit accused both the doctor and the hospital where the girl was treated, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, of negligence.

A jury agreed, awarding the girl and her family a total of $17 million. Of that amount, $10 million will go toward the medical care the girl is predicted to need for the rest of her life; $5 million is for her pain and suffering; and the remaining $2 million is recompense for the future lost wages she will never earn as a result of her brain injury and the difficulties she now experiences. Anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation, with a loved one who suffered serious injury due to the apparent negligence or incompetence of a Massachusetts health care provider, may wish to explore their own options for justice and compensation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Source: nj.com, "$17M awarded to teen left brain damaged after hospital stay", Jeff Goldman, Oct. 27, 2017

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