It Adds Up: Medical Malpractice

Money given by the jury for medical malpractice cases

Happy Friday. It is a splendid day here in Utah and the weather honestly could not be better. It is a great day to go out with your loved ones and have an adventure. However, you have to get through work first, right? Well here’s a blog post that might just give you that little boost of energy to get through your work day.

Stories

Here at George Tait Law, we handle medical malpractice cases. We handle cases of wrongful death and procedure mistakes. You hear about some medical malpractice cases in the news where doctors messed up big time and they pay big for it. We have found stories with large payouts that boggle our minds and make us sad:

  • In 2013, a mother and her 3-year-old daughter got $20 million after a feeding-tube error. Sophia was born premature but because there was an error in how much glucose was in her feeding-tube, Sophia suffered brain damage. She now has cerebral palsy.
  • In 2014, Stacey Galette went in for an ectopic pregnancy surgery. Most of the time these procedures go off without a hitch. Not in this case. After the surgery, Galette ended up in the intensive care unit and suffered three heart attacks. To make matters worse, she had skin grafts, a colonoscopy, AND two below-the-knee amputations. How much? $62 million. Let that sink in.
  • In a 2016 verdict, a mother and her 12-year-old son got $30 million. Why? After the boy was born, his doctor performed 25 surgeries on him. Some techniques that the doctor used were unproven. These surgeries left this poor boy with cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage.

Reactions?

You need to know that most of the money awarded will go to caring for the people injured because of the physician’s negligence. Oftentimes the money is paid out incrementally over several years and if the victim dies the monies are often not paid at all. Finally, even though the jury may have awarded the stated amounts the judge will often reduce the amount after the jury leaves the courthouse because limits are placed by state legislatures on how much can be awarded.

In Utah a jury may award a victim $10 million–$5 million for economic damages and $5 million for noneconomic damages. The noneconomic damages portion reduce from $5 million to $450,000 based on legislation in Utah that caps the noneconomic damages portion regardless of how much the jury awards. More on this in an upcoming blog.

Call us if you feel like you have a problem with your doctor or the facility that treated you. We are here to help.

George Tait Law and its Salt Lake City personal injury lawyers are not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted.