A Florida teenager and his family were awarded $30 million after a five week trial yesterday by a Broward County jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit against Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation against the OB/GYN who delivered him 17 years ago. The family’s medical malpractice lawyer had requested $24 million in damages. Underscoring the jury’s view of the case, they awarded $6 million more than the lawyer requested. Its decision was unanimous. The award is reportedly the largest medical malpractice award in Broward County.
The first line of the Miami Herald article on the case says that the plaintiff was happily posing for the camera and showing off the same leg braces that subjects him to “constant teasing and prodding” from other teens at his high school. This young man suffers from cerebral palsy and has the classic symptomtology of cerebral palsy – spastic legs at the level of a child years younger than his is. So this line really tugs at your heartstrings for sure. But I the cynic in me – and the optimist – wonders whether the boy told the Miami Herald exactly this. Teenagers can be cruel for sure but rarely do they pick on people who are suffering from cerebral palsy. I don’t remember anyone in my public high school picking on a boy like this plaintiff who has cerebral palsy.
In any event, while I’m sure the Plaintiff would rather be 100% healthy, this was certainly a good day for help and helps him lead a life where he finds himself frequently overcoming obstacles.