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$1.5M Awarded to Parents of Malpractice Victim

The parents of a girl who died as a result of medical malpractice and negligence have been awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit against two physician assistants, a pediatrician and a medical center.

A jury found that negligence on the part of the defendants led to the death of Clarissa Julyan Pruitt in 2001.

The child died of cardiac failure and myocarditis, which causes the muscle to weaken and become inflamed. This conditions is typically caused by a viral infection.

The lawsuit was filed by Clarissa’s parents, Daniel and Melissa Pruitt against physician assistants Timothy bell, and Steven D. Recker, pediatrician Sheridan Hernandez, and the Lumberton Children’s Clinic.

Their lawsuit accused Recker and Bell of failing to perform an adequate evaluation of the baby, and not responding to symptoms the baby displayed when she was brought to the hospital.

The lawsuit also claimed that Recker did not properly examine the girl either of the two times a nurse told him of the baby’s condition shortly before the baby died. Bell failed to adequately examine the baby once, the lawsuit claims.

According to the lawsuit, Hernandez had the right to control how the defendants cared for Clarissa.

All of the defendants were working at Lumberton’s Children’s Clinic at the time.

The lawsuit claimed that the hospital acted negligently because its staff failed to notify the pediatrician or a physician assistant in a timely manner about Clarissa’s condition in a timely manner. It also claimed that the hospital failed to ensure that Clarissa received adequate care from a competent physician or physician’s assistant.

The Award

William Faison, The couple’s lawyer, said the $1.5 million verdict satisfied him.

“A majority of the jurors saw this as a $5- to $7-million case, and I very much agreed with them,” said Faison. “But there was one juror who was out of step and out of touch.”

The couple filed the lawsuit for four reasons, according to Faison. They did it to get answers, to change the way the hospital cares for their patients, to hold accountable those responsible for their daughter’s death, and to bring justice.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us today for a free consultation with a caring and experienced medical malpractice attorney. You may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering and more.


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