Sovereign Immunity Threatens $19.2 Million Award
For one family a simple medication error led to permanent injuries. Fifteen days after a child was born prematurely, she was given a heavy dose of nutrients; one hundred times the dosage prescribed by the doctor. The medical error led to cardiac arrest and severe complications. Now a little girl struggles every day. She is blind and has cerebral palsy. Now almost four-years-old, the child remains in a wheelchair, and can not feed herself or even go to the bathroom on her own. The same will be true in 20 years. This child will not have the same opportunities as other children; her parents will not witness all the milestones most parents experience. Full-time care will be required for the rest of her life – all because of a medical error.
Her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS), which maintained that the child's medical problems were the result of her premature birth, despite acknowledging that it made a serious error in dispersing the nutrients. Although the family was awarded $19.2 million, under sovereign immunity the liability cap could limit the award to 10% or $200,000. That's $200,000 for past and future expenses – medical expenses and around-the-clock care for the rest of her life. Does that seem fair?
The hospital has never paid a claims bill through the court; the family hopes after an appeal this will be the first. To overcome Lee Memorial’s sovereign immunity protection, a specific bill would have to be passed by the Florida legislature, which could only happen after all appeals had been exhausted, and this could take years.
How has this family been able to pay medical expenses and ongoing care of their child? Lawsuit funding is available to parents of a disabled victim against litigation proceeds that are earmarked for the care and treatment of the victim. It is extremely expensive to care for someone in this situation and to have to do it without financial assistance is almost impossible. Lawsuit Financial offers legal financial assistance to families struggling financially during a medical malpractice lawsuit. Lawsuit funding is a means to assist with your financial burdens while your lawyer seeks appropriate justice.