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University of Washington settles malpractice suit for $15 million


In one of the largest medical malpractice settlements in the state's history, the University of Washington has been ordered by a judge to pay $15 million to settle a young girl's malpractice suit. The 8-year-old young girl suffered permanent brain damage as a result of hospital staff negligence.

The girl's family filed the lawsuit against the University of Washington in 2011. Several years earlier, the girl saw a doctor for a cold and nasal congestion. She had a heart transplant as a child, so her cardiologist warned against taking drugs such as Afrin, a nasal decongestant. Despite this recommendation, a University of Washington cardiology fellow recommended she take a dose of Afrin to help with her symptoms. Shortly after giving her daughter the nasal decongestant, the girl suffered from cardiac arrest. Her brain was deprived of oxygen and she suffered permanent, severe brain injuries.

A statement from her mother says that she is constantly worried that her daughter is in pain. The girl now requires constant nursing care around the clock. She has a feeding tube, cannot move nor can she communicate with others. The family says the money from the settlement with help them provide better care and medical treatment for their daughter. Their biggest concern continues to be her quality of life.

The heartbreaking case shows the devastating effects that can occur as a result of negligence or malpractice. Although no amount of money can undo the damage caused by malpractice, it can help provide a victim and their family with improved medical care and necessary financial support. Oregon medical malpractice attorneys devote their careers to helping victims such as the one in this case.

Source: University Herald, "Washington University to pay $15 million in a medical malpractice settlement that left girl disabled," Stephen Adkins, July 13, 2013

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