New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association Verdicts and Settlement Report

PO Box 447

Concord, NH  03302-0447

 

 

Case Title:                         Anonymous v. Anonymous                               

 

County:                              Anonymous                                                     

 

Date of Injury:                  November - December 2003                                                                          

 

Liability Facts:

 

            This is a medical negligence claim brought by parents on behalf of their three-year old child.  This claim arises from the defendants’ failure to diagnose and treat the minor plaintiff’s viral meningoencephalitis when she presented to them for treatment seven times in a ten day period for a febrile illness worsening in severity over time.  Despite an ongoing fever, worsening lethargy, anorexia and a lack of bowel movements over a ten day period, the physicians failed to perform any diagnostic tests, address her worsening condition and neurologic decline, and failed to admit her to the hospital, failed to despite a toxic appearance.  On the tenth day, the plaintiff was emergently transported to an emergency room because she was found on the couch, non-responsive, by her father.  At the emergency room, the physician failed to recognize that the child was in severe respiratory distress and did not communicate with the nurses and emergency personnel who assessed her.  The physician failed to assess or manage her airway and failed to inform the facility she was transporting her to of the condition of her patient.  Finally, the physician failed to complete the documentation forms for transport and they were never received by the accepting facility.  The transport team likewise failed to assess the child’s condition, failed to establish and manage the child’s airway and failed to bring the appropriate documentation for transfer.  Because of the defendants’ failures, the plaintiff’s condition went undiagnosed and progressed to the point where she suffered an anoxic event resulting in a permanent hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, a severe and ongoing seizure disorder with apneic episodes, loss of motor function, loss of speech, and severe developmental arrests and delays. 

           

            Prior to this event, the minor plaintiff was a healthy, beautiful, independent, young child. As a direct result of the defendants’ negligence, the minor plaintiff has lost her chance for an opportunity for a better outcome through prompt diagnosis and treatment of her condition.  She now requires 24 hour care and supervision and is completely dependent on medical caregivers and her family, and she will be for the rest of her life.

 Plaintiff:        (1) Sex  Male         Age  27 

                        (2) SexFemale      Age   26 

                        (3) SexFemale      Age    3  

 

Plaintiffs’ Theory of Liability:                                                                  

           

            The defendant pediatric physicians failed to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s condition, failed to admit her to the hospital for additional appropriate care and treatment, failed to properly  recommend additional necessary and appropriate diagnostic tests, failed to properly refer the plaintiff for additional consideration, care and treatment, and otherwise failed to exercise due care.

 

            The defendant emergency department physician, among other things, failed to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s condition, failed to properly manage the minor plaintiff’s airway or otherwise provide additional appropriate care and treatment, failed to properly recommend additional necessary and appropriate diagnostic tests, failed to properly refer the plaintiff for additional consideration, care and treatment, and otherwise failed to exercise due care. 

           

            Additionally, the minor plaintiff came under the care of the defendant local hospital for emergent transport to a tertiary facility and management of acute respiratory distress and mental status changes. The defendant hospital failed to provide medical care in accordance with the accepted standard of reasonable professional practice among similar health care providers; in that it, acting through its employees, agents or co-joint co-venturers during the course of the transport, among other things, failed to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s condition, failed to properly manage her airway or otherwise provide additional appropriate care and treatment, failed to properly report the plaintiff’s condition, failed to properly recommend additional necessary and appropriate consideration, care and treatment, failed to seek necessary and appropriate instructions or medical advice and otherwise failed to exercise due care.

 

            The parent’s of the minor plaintiff contemporaneously perceived the suffering of their child, and have suffered and will continue to suffer, severe emotional distress manifested by physical symptoms. Additionally, the parents of the minor plaintiff,have incurred, and will continue to incur, substantial medical and hospital expenses, therapy expenses, supervision

expenses, and other extraordinary expenses including an architectural renovation of their home.

 

Defendants’ Theory of Liability:

           

Defendants’ made general statements denying both liability and causation, asserting that all of their actions fell within the standard of care.

 

Injuries:

 

            The minor plaintiff, suffered an anoxic event resulting in a permanent hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, a severe and ongoing seizure disorder with apneic episodes, loss of motor function, loss of speech, severe developmental arrests and delays, and other injuries and impairments, causing her to incur substantial medical and hospital expenses, therapy expenses, and other extraordinary expenses, physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and other injuries and losses.

 

Special Damage:

                                                                                                                            Medical Expenses To Date:                $             808,433.97  

            Estimated Future Lost Wages:            $          1,204,200.00

            Lost Services:                                      $             104,600.00

            Home Renovation Costs:                    $             379,800.00

            Future Care Costs:                              $           8,037,400.00

 

            Total Specials:                                  $          10,622,834.00

 

Verdict/Settlement:

                         

                          The parties settled after filing suit but prior to trial for a confidential amount.

 

Counsel: 

 

 For the Plaintiff:         Mark A. Abramson, Esquire;  Kevin F. Dugan, Esquire.;

                                                Jared R. Green, Esquire; Holly B. Haines, Esquire.

                                                Abramson, Brown & Dugan, PA

                                                1819 Elm Street

                                                Manchester, NH 03104

                                                (603) 627-1819