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Jury Awards Mother of Brain-Damaged Boynton Boy $28.45 Million

Posted on August 7, 2012

Concern for her fever-wracked infant son sparked his mother to take him to Bethseda Memorial Hospital in 2006. Today, the boy is nearly seven-years-old and has to wear a diaper, can’t talk, and will probably always have the mental capacity of an 18-month-old child.

The mother sued the hospital, claiming that two doctors at the hospital botched a meningitis diagnosis and did not give her son the treatment that could have cured him. Instead, the 10-month-old boy suffered a stroke that destroyed three of the five lobes on the left side of his brain, leaving him with a severe brain injury.

A Palm Beach County jury agreed with that contention and awarded the mother $28.45 million. The panel found one of the doctor’s 75 percent responsible and the other doctor 25 percent liable.

The attorney for the doctor responsible for $21.3 million of the award said his client plans to appeal, claiming that the boy had been the victim of an “accidental stroke” and that the two doctors had been treating the boy for meningitis.

Although the jury awarded the mother $12 million in “non-economic damages” she may actually receive far less. A complex medical malpractice law enacted by the Florida Legislature in 2003 puts a cap of $1 million for certain damages (like pain and suffering) in catastrophic injuries. To add insult to injury, the doctor responsible for the larger amount did not have malpractice insurance and might only be on the hook for $250,000, according to The Palm Beach Post.

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this year on the constitutionality of the caps, but has yet to issue a ruling on the matter.

If you or someone you love has suffered a life-altering injury due to the negligence of a doctor or medical facility, the highly skilled and experienced Ocala medical malpractice lawyers at Farah & Farah are ready to fight for your legal rights. We’re not afraid to take on doctors, hospitals, or big insurance companies. We’re a free phone call away at (800) 533-3555.