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$21,573,993 Verdict against a doctor and hospital in a case where errors were made related to monitoring fetal heart rates

Case: Ja’Kareon Graham v. Hamot Medical Center

Parties:
Plaintiff - Ja’Kareon Graham
Defendant - Hamot Medical Center

Court: Trial Court of Erie County, Pennsylvania

Summary of Facts

In Erie County, the mother of Ja’Kareon Graham filed suit for medical malpractice against the hospital where she delivered her baby. Ja’Kareon is not 4 years old and is living with cerebral palsy. The child was not receiving enough oxygen through his umbilical cord, and the nursing staff at the Hamot Medical Center did not monitor fetal heart rates and other vital signs of the baby, who was showing distress. Due to the lack of oxygen, the boy has cerebral palsy and now cannot speak or feed himself.

Outcome at Trial

The jury found that the hospital was liable for negligence and medical malpractice, and awarded the infant and his mother $21.6 million. The jury determined that Hamot’s nursing staff was at fault for failing to properly monitor the fetal heart rates and other vital signs. Of the $21,573,993 verdict, $19,588,217 of it was to provide for Ja’Kareon’s future medical expenses. The rest of the award covers his past medical expenses and lost earning capacity. The jury did not award damages for Ja’Kareon’s past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

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