$25,300,000 – Medical Malpractice/Negligence
In utero, J.V. was diagnosed with a congenital twisting of his bowels called atresia. A few days after birth, he had surgical repair at Kaiser Sunset. He was later admitted to Kaiser Fontana general pediatric floor for vomiting and foul-smelling stool. Radiologists missed a key finding of pneumatosis (early signs of bowel ischemia). Nurses, on orders from various pediatric hospitalists and pediatric gastroenterologist, resumed feedings which resulted in a bowel perforation. Because of delays in obtaining further diagnostic films, J.V. developed sepsis and necrotic bowel. By the time he was taken to surgery, his oxygen levels were dropping and he had very low blood pressures. After surgery, he went into organ failure and was transferred out of the Kaiser system.
After taking the depositions of Claimant’s experts, Kaiser admitted that multiple health care providers who treated J.V. between November 26th and December 3rd were negligent and that their negligence caused J.V.’s injuries. The case proceeded to arbitration on damages only.
Severe hypoxic/ischemic brain insult; cerebral palsy/spastic quadriplegia; epilepsy; cortical blindness; short gut syndrome; global developmental delay; inability to communicate his wants/needs.
J.V. is now 9 years old with the mind of an infant. He is unable to speak, walk, or crawl. He cannot meaningfully grip or use objects. He is incontinent requiring diapers and frequent diaper changes. He is fed and given hydration solely by a gastrostomy tube. He suffers from intractable epilepsy and requires multiple anti-seizure medications and other controlled substances throughout the day via his g-tube. He is legally blind and can only recognize his family. He has inconsolable tantrums that can last up to an hour, often multiple times a day. He strikes and bites himself and others. He attempts to roll or scoot himself out of confined areas. He has no ability to recognize risks or dangers in his environment. He attempts to and does pull his tubing out. He has an irregular sleep pattern and must be watched. J.V. requires around-the-clock care.
Kaiser was recommending approximately $12 million in damages, less than half the amount awarded by the arbitrator.