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Jury Awards Injured Baby $25.4M in KC Metro's Largest Medical Malpractice Verdict
News provided byCullan & Cullan
Apr 06, 2022, 1:56 PM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A jury awarded a record $25.4 million medical negligence judgment Wednesday against Dr. Kelli Sandri for failing to properly treat a mother in labor. The child suffered permanent birth injuries due to a lack of oxygen. The injured child and her family were represented by Joe Cullan and Pat Cullan, physician-attorneys and Ryan Terril of Cullan and Cullan.
According to Sarah Schmidtlein, owner of the Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service, this is the largest verdict in a medical negligence case ever awarded in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and surrounding counties.
After a two-week trial, a Jackson County jury ruled that Dr. Sandri violated her duty of care and improperly supervised a student doctor with respect to the administration of medication used to speed up labor. There was an overdose of Pitocin, which was apparent on monitoring equipment. The overdose resulted in a loss of oxygen to the baby's brain causing cerebral palsy.
Pitocin has been designated as a "high alert medication" by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. If misused, it creates the risk of serious injury to the mother and baby.
"Great care must be taken with the use of Pitocin," Dr. Patrick Cullan explained. "If used correctly Pitocin can be safe, but the health care team must watch carefully for signs of overdose."
In this case, the fetal monitoring equipment demonstrated more than six hours of excessive Pitocin administration. This wasn't recognized by the student doctor nor by Dr.Sandri.
"The attending physician delegated the responsibility to the doctor in training, rather than personally attending to the patient as often as required by the standard of care," Dr. Joe Cullan stated. "Hopefully, this verdict will send a message to teaching hospitals that the doctor who is responsible for the patient's care must be actively involved. You cannot teach or supervise a young doctor from a nursing station or doctor's lounge."
According to Cullan & Cullan, the child will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life. That amounts to many millions of dollars over her lifetime.
The jury awarded $18,972,000 for ongoing medical care and damages for the plaintiffs, as well as $5 million for past and future pain, suffering, and disfigurement. The jury understood what a devastating injury this was, said Joe Cullan. "What an amazing family. Kylie's mother Rachel took her daughter to 184 physician and therapy visits in the last four years. They work every day to improve her life and keep her safe."
This is the latest of Cullan & Cullan's record-setting jury verdicts. The firm recently broke its own record in Nebraska with the $26.1 million verdict Patrick and Joe won for a child who received improper medical care after a fall. That child was left permanently disabled as a result of medical negligence. The previous record, also held by Cullan & Cullan, was a $17 million verdict won for a baby who sustained brain damage because of malpractice.
Cullan & Cullan's doctor-lawyers are nationally recognized as leading advocates for the victims of negligence. Sharing over 40 years of experience and the knowledge that comes with advanced degrees in both medicine, law and engineering, the firm is renowned for its effective representation for their clients. To learn more about Cullan and Cullan please visit https://www.doctorspracticinglaw.com/.
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SOURCE Cullan & Cullan