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Medical malpractice award amounts not dependent on patient age

A number of myths continue to influence the American public’s perception of medical malpractice issues. For example, a myth that does not seem to die down significantly at any point insists that large medical malpractice awards cause spikes in healthcare costs for everyone else. In truth, numerous studies have confirmed that this is definitely not the case.

In addition, a pervasive myth holds that if an infant or child dies as a result of medical negligence or malpractice, the award will ultimately be minimal because that young person had yet to demonstrate earning potential. In truth, medical malpractice awards are often significant in the event of infant, toddler and child wrongful death. When a young life is wrongfully taken, juries may award parents millions of dollars in compensation.

For example, a jury recently awarded one family $6.25 million after their two-year-old daughter perished as a result of medical negligence. The little girl was taken to the doctor for stomach troubles. After physicians failed to properly diagnose her with a twisted stomach, she was sent home without patient care instructions. Although numerous cues indicated that the little girl’s health was in significant danger, she was not properly diagnosed until after her stomach ruptured. She later died from her injuries.

Within the $6.25 million award, the jury awarded this little girl’s parents $50,000 for pain and suffering, $3.7 million for her wrongful death and $2.5 million for loss of future earnings and earning capacity. Simply because the medical malpractice victim was only two-years-old at the time of her death did not make her case any less important, any less meaningful or any less worthy of compensation than the case of an adult victim.

Source: Citizens Voice, “Family awarded $6.25M in 2-year-old’s death,” Eric Mark and James Halpin, May 21, 2015

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