Massachusetts woman paralyzed by stroke after giving birth awarded $34 million verdict in malpractice lawsuit
May 14, 2015
A jury has awarded a $34.1 million verdict to a Massachusetts woman who was paralyzed by a stroke just hours after giving birth to her daughter. Andrea Larkin and her husband, Tim, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical center where she was a patient for failing to notify other physicians of a preexisting medical condition that put Andrea at risk of complications from going into labor.
According to the medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the Larkin family, Andrea Larkin sought treatment at Dedham Medical Associates in Dedham, Massachusetts when she began to experience dizzy spells after running the Boston Marathon in 2004. An MRI and CAT scan ordered by Dr. Jehane Johnston showed abnormalities in Larkin’s brain. Because of these brain abnormalities, Dr. Johnston was required by law to place Larkin on a list of patients with certain medical conditions that can be accessed by other doctors.
However, according to the Larkin family’s attorney, Dr. Johnston never placed Andrea Larkin on this list. As a result, when she became pregnant four years later, Larkin’s obstetrician was unaware of her brain issues. Had this doctor known about her condition, Andrea Larkin’s daughter, Alexa, would have been delivered by Caesarean section because of the health risks that the mother could face from going into labor.
Seven years ago, Larkin gave birth to her daughter without receiving a C-section. A few hours later, Larkin suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed except for some movement in her right arm. As a result of this stroke, Larkin has difficulty speaking and now requires around the clock medical care. Although her family is hopeful for a recovery, Tim Larkin says that after seven years, the prognosis for Andrea’s recovery is not good.
The Larkin family filed a malpractice lawsuit against Dedham Medical Associates and Dr. Johnston for failing to place Andrea on the database of patients with certain medical conditions. The jury in the case agreed with the Larkins’ lawyer that negligence on the part of Dedham and Dr. Johnston was responsible for Andrea Larkin’s stroke and awarded the family $34.1 million in damages. The family will receive more than $41 million due to interest.
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When doctors, hospitals, or medical staff fail to exercise proper care in treating a patient, serious and potentially fatal health consequences can result, costing patients and their families thousands of dollars in medical bills. Patients who have been injured as a result of negligence on the part of medical caregivers have a right to fair compensation for the injuries they have suffered. The first step in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and receiving compensation for the harm caused by doctors or medical staff is to speak with an attorney.
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