Florida Med Mal: Baby With Undiagnosed Brain Tumor

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Do we trust doctors more than we should? One Florida mom who trusted her doctor when he said that she had’nothing to worry about’ likely wishes she hadn’t. Her 18 month old daughter had a brain tumor that went undiagnosed and led to permanent brain damage. Although she sued for medical malpractice and was awarded $4.15 million, she’s unlikely to place that amount of trust in a doctor’s opinion again. Here’s her story and other Florida med mal verdicts which resulted in awards of $38M, $30M and $12M.

$4.15M Florida medical malpractice verdict

This Florida medical malpractice lawsuit involves an 18 month old girl with a brain tumor. According to news reports, the child’s mother brought her to their pediatrician because the girl’s smile was crooked and one eye did not completely close. Instead of performing any testing, the doctor simply told the mom that the child’s facial muscles hadn’t fully developed and that she had’nothing to worry about.’ Unfortunately, she did.

Approximately a year and a half later, she took her daughter to a neurologist. An MRI was done and the child was diagnosed with Grade I pylocytic astrocytoma, which is a malignant brain stem tumor. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the pediatrician which alleged that he was negligent in failing to take appropriate measures to diagnose and treat her daughter’s tumor’ which decreased her chances to obtain successful treatment. In fact, the radiation treatment that the girl received ended up killing brain cells which left her with permanent cognitive defects. A Florida jury awarded her $4.15 million in damages for lost earnings and pain and suffering.

Other recent Florida med mal verdicts

Unfortunately, the family described above isn’t alone. Here are some other recent Florida medical malpractice cases and the verdicts plaintiffs’ received:

  • $38M: A doctor with a history of medical malpractice lawsuits injected a Florida woman with the wrong drug into her spine which left her unable to walk and in excruciating pain. A jury awarded her $38 million.
  • $30M: A Florida woman was awarded $30 million for the injuries sustained by her son in delivery. Her doctor waited too long to perform an emergency cesarean section and the child was deprived of enough blood and oxygen to the brain to sustain permanent damage. The medical malpractice award was one of the largest in Broward County’s history.
  • $12M: A Florida couple was awarded $12 million after their infant son died from an infection. Their medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and its doctors alleged that they were financially motivated to keep the baby at their hospital instead of transferring him to a hospital which could provide better care.

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