Home » Fighting for Justice: The Dramatic Stories of Four Remarkable Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Fighting for Justice: The Dramatic Stories of Four Remarkable Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

by Melissa Bell
7 minutes read

Medical malpractice cases often bring to light heartbreaking stories of individuals who have suffered due to negligence or wrongdoing in the healthcare system. Shockingly, each year, approximately 225,000 lives are lost due to various types of medical malpractice, such as errors in dosage administration, surgical mistakes, and incorrect diagnoses.

These numbers highlight the alarming frequency of preventable harm within the healthcare system. Annually, between 15,000 and 18,000 lawsuits are filed, accusing medical professionals of malpractice or negligence, shedding light on the extent of the issue.

In this article, we will explore four famous medical malpractice cases that have captured public attention and shed light on the importance of patient safety, accountability, and the pursuit of justice. These cases involve devastating consequences, legal battles, and substantial compensation awarded to the victims.

medical malpractice cases

Infant Brain Injury Case: $6.5 Million Settlement in New Jersey

Attorneys Daniel S. Weinstock, G. Scott Vezina, and Carolyn M. Chopko achieved a potentially record-breaking settlement of $6.5 million in a birth injury/medical malpractice case in a rural county in southern New Jersey.

During the second stage of the plaintiff’s labor, the fetal monitor tracings indicated that the baby was experiencing difficulties and might be at risk of hypoxia. However, there were conflicting recollections between the nursing staff and the responsible physician regarding the interpretation and timely reporting of abnormal findings on the fetal monitor strips.

Eventually, an emergency cesarean section was performed after a period of bradycardia (dangerously low heart rate). Although the baby survived, he suffered severe brain damage and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act posed a significant challenge to the strength of the malpractice claim and the potential recovery, as the insurance limits for the non-hospital defendants were capped at $2.25 million.

Attorneys Weinstock and Vezina overcame this obstacle by presenting a compelling legal argument that the hospital’s administration had failed to enforce its own written policies for overseeing non-employee physicians practicing within its facility, contributing to the cause of the client’s catastrophic injuries. As a result, they secured a settlement nearly three times the amount of the imposed “soft cap.”

Prescription Negligence: $17.6 Million Verdict in St. Louis, Missouri

A medical malpractice jury trial in Missouri, successfully handled by a St. Louis personal injury lawyer, resulted in significant compensation being awarded to the plaintiffs.

The jury found a physician and his employer negligent in prescribing and monitoring opioids for the plaintiff’s husband. The verdict granted the husband $1.4 million, the wife $1.2 million in damages, and an additional extraordinary $15 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit alleged negligence in the prescribing and monitoring of opioids, with the husband being prescribed over 37,000 narcotic pain pills between 2008 and 2012, far exceeding recommended levels. The excessive prescription led to severe side effects and addiction and strained the couple’s marriage.

This verdict serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of proper prescribing practices and the urgent need to address the opioid abuse problem prevalent in the United States. It also emphasizes the role of personal injury lawyers in advocating for justice and fighting against medical negligence, as noted by TorHoerman Law.

Record-Breaking Verdict: $97.4 Million in Iowa

In a landmark medical malpractice case in Iowa, the Kromphardt family was awarded a historic verdict of $97.4 million, the largest in the state’s history for such cases. The majority of the compensation is allocated for the child at the center of the lawsuit, who sustained brain damage and will require round-the-clock care for the rest of their life.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Jill Goodman proceeded with a vaginal birth despite clear indications that a cesarean section was necessary. As a result, the baby suffered oxygen deprivation and a skull fracture. Forceps were used in an attempt to deliver the baby, causing further harm, and when unsuccessful, a Vacuum Extractor was employed against recommended guidelines.

The verdict was divided equally between the doctor’s office and Mercy Iowa City, with specific amounts designated for future medical or care expenses, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of function.

The outcome of this case represents a significant victory for the Kromphardt family, highlighting the devastating consequences of medical malpractice and the need for accountability within the healthcare system.

Surgical Negligence: $135 Million Damages for Faith DeGrand

In a groundbreaking medical malpractice case, the largest-ever verdict of $135 million was awarded to 17-year-old Faith DeGrand from Wyandotte, Michigan. Following a two-week long trial and a brief deliberation period, a jury of eight people found Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan and two doctors guilty of malpractice.

Faith underwent a routine pediatric scoliosis surgery where a surgical rod and screws were placed in her back to correct her spine. However, the surgeon’s inappropriate placement of the hardware resulted in compression on her spine, causing immediate severe pain, paralysis of her limbs, and loss of bowel and bladder control.

Despite the subsequent removal of the devices, Faith’s life was permanently altered. She spent a year in a wheelchair and will require a catheter for the rest of her life, experiencing limited control over her arms and legs due to quadriparesis.

Faith’s attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, emphasized that while the $135 million verdict would cover her lifelong catheter costs, it cannot undo the profound impact on Faith’s life. The trial exposed the surgeon’s alleged incompetence and revealed that he went on vacations while Faith suffered.

This verdict, believed to be the largest in a medical malpractice case nationwide, highlights the devastating consequences of surgical errors and the need for accountability in the healthcare system.


These four famous medical malpractice cases serve as poignant reminders of the devastating consequences of negligence in healthcare. They shed light on the urgent need for patient safety, accountability, and justice for those who have endured harm.

Through legal battles, substantial settlements, and significant verdicts, these cases emphasize the crucial importance of improved medical practices, enhanced oversight, and a steadfast commitment to safeguarding patients’ well-being. The stories behind these cases highlight the imperative of seeking justice to prevent future tragedies and uphold the rights of individuals within the healthcare system.

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