A buck doesn’t buy a lot anymore. Take a look at some of the verdicts below.


I am not commenting on whether or not there was negligence. Assume for the moment doctors were negligent in each case. The damages are astounding. Remember that most doctors have $1M in liability coverage.

Of course, if the doctor asks the carrier to settle for policy limits and the carrier wants to take the case to trial, the carrier is gambling with its own money. But, if the carrier wants to settle, and you want to roll the dice, the carrier can write the check for $1M and you’re on the hook for the rest if you lose big.


The recent trend has been for higher jury verdicts. Sobering indeed.


$120 million
Martin v. NYCHH et al.
May 2012
Jacqueline Martin, who had a rare skin disorder, was brain damaged after physicians at three New York hospitals allegedly failed to diagnosis the condition. Her family won the verdict against the three medical centers and a neurologist.

$78.5 million
Nicholson-Upsey v. Touey
May 2012
Victoria Upsey claimed that physicians at Memorial Medical Center in Pottstown, Pa., used antiquated equipment that failed to detect her unborn son’s heartbeat. She said the equipment led to an 81-minute delay in delivering the baby, who is now a quadriplegic and requires lifelong care.


$74 million
Blunt v. Haupt
April 2012
A jury awarded the verdict against a California obstetrician-gynecologist accused of liability in the delivery of Sofia Blunt. The child experienced brain damage after being born and requires lifelong care. The Blunts said the doctor failed to hasten the baby’s birth, leading to oxygen deprivation.


$10 million
Mulkerin v. Cho
April 2012
Medina General Hospital in Ohio was found liable after clinicians allegedly severed Holly Mulkerin’s artery during a cardiac cauterization. She had a heart attack after the procedure.


$178 million

George Clay Chandler v. Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, et al.
January 2012
Former police officer Clay Chandler and his family were awarded the sum against Memorial Hospital Jacksonville in Florida. They alleged the hospital improperly treated Chandler after he experienced severe complications from gastric bypass surgery. The family settled out of court with the physician involved.


$144 million
VanSlembrouck v. William Beaumont Hospital
October 2011
Kimberly VanSlembrouck was awarded the sum after alleging the Michigan hospital and its physicians improperly delivered her baby. The girl fractured a clavicle in the birth canal and experienced severe brain trauma. Reduced to $41.6 million.


$58.6 million
D’Attilo v. Viscarello
May 2011
Dominic and Cathy D’Attilo won the case against an Stamford, Conn., obstetrician and his practice after the physician allegedly waited too long to perform a cesarean section on their son. The boy is now brain damaged.


Source: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/07/16/prsa0716.htm – referencing court records, attorneys