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5 of the Largest Medical Malpractice Verdicts of 2022

Judge in the court room closing the lawsuit case.

Several record-breaking medical malpractice verdicts in 2022 compensated patients who suffered catastrophic, life-altering harm due to negligent healthcare providers. Here are five of the nation’s largest medical malpractice trial awards in 2022.

  1. Thapa v. St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates: $111 Million Verdict in Minnesota

A federal jury in Minnesota awarded a former college student over $111 million in compensation for past and future medical expenses, emotional distress, and pain. The verdict came after a St. Cloud medical center committed errors during surgery that caused “catastrophic” damage to the student’s left leg. Anuj Thapa, a citizen of Nepal, suffered “permanent,” “disabling” damage to his left leg due to the negligence of two orthopedic surgeons.

In January 2017, the St. Cloud State University student was injured during a soccer game when another player side-tackled him. Thapa went to St. Cloud Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a fractured leg. Dr. Chad Holien, the on-call orthopedic surgeon, recommended surgery.

Although Thapa initially resisted, he finally agreed to have Holien perform surgery that night. The hospital then discharged Thapa despite his continued complaints of severe leg pain. Thapa returned several days later, still suffering from pain. A second physician performed surgery on Thapa and discovered he suffered from acute compartment syndrome. Thapa underwent over 20 more surgeries to repair the damage.

The jury found that St. Cloud Hospital breached the standard of care in evaluating Thapa’s symptoms and failing to diagnose his acute compartment syndrome.

  1. Kromphardt v. Mercy Hospital: $97.4 Million Verdict in Iowa

An Iowa family won a $97.4 million verdict after their newborn son suffered severe brain damage due to a birth injury. The family alleged that their child was in fetal distress during an August 2018 delivery, which should have prompted the delivery team to perform an emergency cesarean section. However, the attending physician, Dr. Jill Goodman, continued with a vaginal birth. She used forceps to pull the child out, fracturing his skull. The family’s lawsuit alleged that Goodman compounded her error using a vacuum extractor, even though the standard of care prohibits vacuum extraction after a failed attempt with forceps. The child suffered an ischemic brain injury and skull fracture with subdural hemorrhage, leaving him with seizures, facial nerve palsy, and other disabilities requiring lifelong care.

A jury returned a verdict awarding the child’s family $97.4 million for the child’s future medical expenses and pain and suffering – the largest medical malpractice verdict in Iowa state history. Goodman’s practice, OB-GYN Associates of Iowa City, and Mercy Iowa City, the hospital where the delivery occurred, split payment of the verdict.

  1. The Estate of Nicholas Carusillo v. Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, Inc.: $77 Million Verdict in Georgia

A family recovered $77 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against an addiction treatment center in Georgia. Nick Carusillo was admitted to Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences (MARR) in August 2017 for substance use treatment. Carusillo had struggled with drugs since his teens. He was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 20.

At the time of his admission to MARR, Carusillo was treating his bipolar disorder with lithium and Seroquel. But within a week of arriving at MARR, a facility physician discontinued Carusillo’s lithium prescription – despite his family and therapist warning the physician that Carusillo needed to stay on his medications.

Carusillo’s mental health condition allegedly deteriorated over the next two weeks. He was then forced to leave MARR after staff found Carusillo with a cell phone violating facility rules. MARR released Carusillo to a sober living residence but failed to advise the owner of Carusillo’s mental health issues. The following day, Carusillo was discharged from the residence for violating curfew and dropped off at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

The next day, Carusillo was struck by several vehicles and killed on I-85 outside of Atlanta after lying naked in traffic. The family filed suit against MARR, alleging that the facility was negligent in stopping Carusillo’s lithium medication. They were awarded the $77 million to try and make up for the value of their son’s life, his pain and suffering, and their attorneys’ fees, along with punitive damages.

  1. Buckelew v. Womack: $75 Million Verdict in Georgia

A jury found two physicians liable for brain damage a patient suffered during a catastrophic stroke in 2015 that doctors failed to diagnose or adequately treat. The jury awarded Jonathan Buckelew $29 million in medical expenses and $46 million in non-economic damages for brain damage that left him unable to move any body part other than his eyes.

Buckelew suffered the stroke during chiropractic treatment and went to North Fulton Regional Hospital, where emergency room physician Dr. Matthew Womack and radiologist Dr. James Waldshmidt failed to diagnose the stroke or provide treatment for more than a day despite imaging indicating a brain stem stroke. The complaint accused Womack of failing to inform the neurologist that Buckelew had received chiropractic treatment, a risk condition for stroke. Womack also allegedly altered Buckelew’s medical records after learning of Buckelew’s actual condition.

  1. Crohan v. University Community Hospital Inc.: $68.6 Million Verdict in Florida

A Florida jury issued a $68.6 million verdict for a Florida woman who suffered catastrophic brain damage after doctors failed to treat an electrolyte imbalance properly. Miranda Crohan collapsed in 2017 due to severe hyponatremia, or low blood sodium. Crohan suffered from diabetes insipidus, a rare condition that can cause an imbalance of fluids and chemicals in the body.

Crohan was found unresponsive by her roommate and transported to the hospital, where doctors eventually determined that she was suffering from an electrolyte imbalance. Over several days, Crohan suffered various complications that left her with permanent brain damage.

At trial, the parties disputed the cause of Crohan’s brain damage, with the defendants alleging that the brain damage occurred due to an autoimmune disease that Crohan had. However, Crohan’s family argued that doctors had failed to adequately address Crohan’s blood sodium levels. This failure caused an overcorrection of sodium levels that triggered a series of medical complications and, ultimately, brain damage.

The jury’s verdict awarded more than $17 million for medical expenses and $50 million for pain and suffering.

Contact a Washington, D.C., Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve suffered injuries or complications due to negligent medical care, get experienced legal help to pursue financial relief and justice. Contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates for a free consultation with a Washington, D.C., medical malpractice lawyer about your legal options.

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