In one of the largest recorded medical malpractice verdicts, a 41 year old Manhattan real estate broker who suffered catastrophic brain injuries was awarded: $51M for pain and suffering; $550,000 for past medical expenses and $19,118,263 for future medical expenses. His wife was awarded $51,000,000 for loss of services bringing the total verdict to $121,668,263. Based on a high/low settlement entered into between the parties prior to the verdict, the plaintiff's will receive far less than the verdict but far more than the defendant's wanted to pay. The verdict was rendered on November 20, 2023 in Supreme Court, Westchester County.
On November 27, 2018, the plaintiff was found unresponsive in his home and brought to Westchester Medical Center. A stroke code was promptly called. Imaging studies included a head CT and head/neck CT angiography which revealed evidence of an embolic stroke requiring an emergent thrombectomy to remove a clot in his brain. Unfortunately, there was a consequential delay in performing the thrombectomy as the initial interpretation of the imaging studies by two second-year neuroradiology residents was negative. One of them called the attending neurologist on call who was working remotely - but - he was unable to to view the images because of a software malfunction. It wasn't until the attending doctors arrived 3 hours later that they noticed the resident's mistaken interpretation of the imaging studies and rushed plaintiff into surgery.
There was also a claim of an unnecessary delay in determining the cause of the stroke (a hypercoagulable condition or blood clotting disorder called CAPS) so treatment with an anticoagulant (Warfarin) could be promptly administered. The jury apparently agreed that the administration of Warfarin would likely have prevented the subsequent strokes which did occur in the following days and led to a steep decline in neurological functioning. All that was needed would have been to check a box to add a blood test for a hypercoagulable panel, in addition to one of the several daily blood tests that were already being ordered.
The plaintiff, who was a successful broker, has been institutionalized since the stroke due to severe cognitive damage and will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life. Lee v Westchester County Health Care Corp, 2023 WL 8599252