The cerebral palsy attorneys at Farah & Farah in Florida have learned that Lee Memorial Health System has paid $10 million to an injured teenager as part of a $15 million claims bill that was approved by the Florida State Legislature last year.
The 15-year-old boy, who now lives in Colorado with his mother, was born at HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Meyers in 1997 and suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Problems with a medication used during his birth were blamed for the brain damage the boy suffered and he is still confined to a wheelchair.
In 2007, a Lee County jury awarded the family $31 million in damages, but since HealthPark is a public hospital, the state legislature had to approve a claim that large through a claims bill. State lawmakers approved to pay $15 million, the second largest claims bill in Florida history.
Lee Memorial officials claimed they were not responsible for the injuries and had initially relied on Florida’s sovereign immunity law to limit the amount of damages paid in the medical malpractice case. That law limited the damages to $300,000, which the health system claimed it paid years earlier.
Last June, Gov. Rick Scott signed the claims bill, and thereafter Lee Memorial’s board voted to purchase malpractice insurance with coverage of $25 million. The $15 million payment to the teen will be coming out of the health system’s general operating budget, according to Lee Memorial officials.
The mother of the boy said the money will be put into a trust fund and told Naplesnews.com in an email that “the new year will give [her son] a fighting chance to have what most take for granted.”
If your child has suffered a catastrophic brain injury due to medical malpractice in Florida, contact the law firm of Farah & Farah either online or by telephone at (800) 533-3555. We can review your case and discuss your legal options.