Family Awarded $28M in Malpractice Suit
A jury has awarded $28 million to the family of a woman who gave birth to a baby with a deadly and rare medical condition as a result of medical malpractice.
The baby boy, 3 years old, was awarded $15 million. Wanda Tineo, his mother, was awarded $13 million by the New Jersey jury for the emotional distress she experienced.
Tineo, pregnant, went to see a New Jersey doctor to have tests performed to determine whether the fetus had myotubular myopathy.
Myotubular myopathy is a rare, debilitating genetic disease marked by muscular cell defects. It results in poor muscle control, strength and coordination.
Children born with this disease often have extreme difficulty breathing and require ventilators to survive. They also usually have a short life expectancy.
The doctors told her the baby did not have the disease.
Sadly however, when the baby was born at Nyack Hospital in April 2003, doctors could tell right away that the baby did have it, said Gerald B. O’Connor, the family’s attorney.
An investigation determined that the test had never been performed, said O’Connor.
A mistake was made, obviously, but the trial focused on answering the question of who made it. “Everyone pointed the finger at each other,” said O’Connor.
An investigation found that there was no checkbox on the laboratory form for the myotubular myopathy test. The doctor claims he wrote an order for the test on the lab form, but the lab, LabCorp, never performed it, O’Connor said.
“No one ever checked to see if it was done,” he said.
The Jury found the doctor, Aldo Khoury, 50 percent responsible for the mishap, and LabCorp of America, the nationwide medical lab testing company who was supposed to perform the test, 40 percent responsible. The director at LabCorp was found to be 10 percent responsible.
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