$22,300,000 Verdict – Medical Malpractice
Jake Tinman was born at Christ Hospital on May 15, 1999, with a congenital heart defect known as pulmonary atresia, which prevents blood flow to the lungs. He underwent surgical placement of a Blalock-Taussig shunt on May 17 and was discharged on May 20. The infant was brought back to the hospital on May 29 with hypothermia, mottling, and low oxygen saturations which led to severe acidosis. An echocardiogram performed by a pediatric cardiology fellow, revealed a narrowed shunt, and he recommended surgery. The echocardiogram results were subsequently erased. Deft Dr. Husayni, the attending pediatric cardiologist who had not seen the child for over 4 hours, overruled the fellow and performed a cardiac catheterization (7 hours after admission), which revealed almost total shunt occlusion. Emergent shunt replacement surgery was performed. The plaintiff contended the defendants should have diagnosed the narrowed shunt within 2 hours of admission, earlier emergency surgery should have been performed to replace the shunt, cardiac catheterization was unnecessary or should have been done much sooner, pressure dressing was improperly applied "extra tight" to the child's left leg, and the O.R. staff failed to properly monitor and evaluate the left leg following catheterization. As a result, Jake required amputation of his left leg through the knee and subsequently suffered a stroke with prolonged hypoxia, affecting his right arm and leg and leaving him with global developmental delays, cognitive deficits, and an I.Q. of 58.