Over $2 million dollar award for death from delivery error affirmed.

Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Position:Nursing Law Case on Point
 
FREE EXCERPT

CASE ON POINT: Hatwood v.Hospital of Univ of Penn., 2012 PA Super 217 (10/5/2012)-PA

CASE FACTS: This case involved a suit for medical malpractice concerning the delivery and subsequent death of Hyseem Jacobs. The baby's mother, Kyra Hatwood, presented at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) just after midnight on March 22, 2005. After evaluation and monitoring, Baby Hyseem was born via caesarean section at 3:42 a.m. He required resuscitation immediately subsequent to birth due to a hypoxic ischemic brain injury. This injury caused cerebral palsy and associated respiratory and neurological conditions. Baby Hyseem died at the age of 17 months from complications associated with cerebral palsy. Kyra and David Jacobs, the baby's father, and Hyseem's estate filed suit against HUP, Dr. Peter Chen, and Dr. Myriam Fernandez, alleging professional negligence. At the close of the plaintiffs' case, the trial court granted a non-suit on the plaintiffs' claims against Dr. Fernandez. On February 14, 2011, after a two week trial, a jury awarded the plaintiffs an aggregate amount of $2,154,583.00 against HUP and Dr. Chen. The defendants filed post-trial motions, which were ultimately denied by the trial court by order dated October 18, 2011. The defendants appealed raising several issues, which were as follows: 1) Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in charging the jury that it could award damages under the Wrongful Death Act for plaintiffs' loss of the society and companionship of Hyseem. 2) Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in denying the defendants' motion for judgment not withstanding the verdict (jnov), and in failing to strike the jury's award for "loss of society and companionship." 3) Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in failing to grant the defendants' motion for a new trial. 4) Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in failing to grant jnov or a new trial since the plaintiffs offered no evidence upon which the jury could find negligent conduct by HUP's nurses caused injury. 5) Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in permitting the jury to consider HUP's liability based on the acts or omissions of the nurses. 6) Whether the trial Court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion in failing to grant jnov or a new trial where plaintiffs'...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP