Baltimore Jury Awards $229.6 Million In Largest Malpractice Verdict In US History - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Baltimore Jury Awards $229.6 Million In Largest Malpractice Verdict In US History

A Baltimore jury awarded last year $229.6 million to a woman in a medical malpractice suit — the largest ever to occur in the United States, Patch reports. Five years ago, Erica Byrom gave birth at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where her baby sustained a brain injury as a result of medical malpractice, a jury ruled. Poor maternal healthcare is a growing problem in Baltimore and the wider U.S.

Misinformed by doctors

During the trial, attorneys from Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, LLC argued that Byrom was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication, and subsequently misinformed by her doctors about her choices. Byrom was told her baby would either experience brain damage or die, and that she could end her pregnancy despite the baby being over the age of viability. Based on this information, Byrom opted for a vaginal birth over a recommended emergency cesarean section. As a result, Byrom’s baby experienced brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen. Zubida Byrom was born with spastic cerebral palsy and requires 16 hours of skilled nursing care daily in foster care.

Financial compensation

Although the jury initially awarded $25 million for pain and suffering, Judge Carrion decreased this amount to $740,000 (Maryland imposes a cap on non-economic damages). However, the remainder of the $205.38 million verdict was left intact. The judge also denied Johns Hopkins motion for a new trial.

“The verdict of the jury insures that Zubida will receive the care and treatment she needs and deserves for the rest of her life,” said Mary Koch, one of Byrom’s attorneys. Johns Hopkins is planning to appeal the verdict.

Challenging medical negligence

Byrom’s case is a tragic reflection of the wider maternal health crisis in the US — in fact, US women are more likely to die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth than in 49 other counties. Birth injuries have lifelong consequences on families and their babies, including, medical expenses, ongoing nursing care, lost wages, and pain and suffering, explains JJS Law. When a birth injury has possibly been caused by a medical professional’s negligence, it’s important to consult a birth injury attorney. Experienced and reputable lawyers can help injured families win the compensation they deserve.

Steps must be taken to improve maternal health care in Baltimore and the US. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently signed legislation establishing a Maternal Mortality Review Board designed to improve maternal healthcare and limit preventable deaths. Similar legislation may also be proposed in other states.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    “recently”? Wasn’t this like 9 months ago?


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