U.S. News

Family of Colorado infant given wrong drug dose awarded $17.8 million

DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado family has won a $17.8 million jury verdict against a hospital after their infant daughter suffered permanent brain damage when she was given the wrong drug dosage, their lawyers said on Friday.

The judgment against Children’s Hospital Colorado in the case of Naomi Pressey is the largest medical malpractice verdict in the state’s history, according to the Jury Verdict Reporter of Colorado.

“No family should have to go through what we’ve had to endure,” Jennifer Pressey, the girl’s mother, said in a statement. “Our family has experienced incredible pain.”

Children’s Hospital said in a statement that it could not comment on the specifics of the case but indicated that it would appeal the verdict.

“We are sorry that the Pressey family suffered this unfortunate outcome seven years ago with their child ... we respectfully believe there are grounds to appeal the outcome,” the hospital said.

Naomi Pressey, who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect shortly after she was born in 2008, was transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado in suburban Denver four days after her birth to undergo surgery to repair her heart.

Ahead of the surgery, the girl was given the wrong dose of the drug prostaglandin, and she went into cardiac arrest on the operating table, the complaint said.

Hospital staff could not resuscitate the girl for 33 minutes, leaving her with permanent physical disabilities and brain damage, the lawsuit said.

Lawyers for the Pressey family said in a statement that Naomi, now age 7, requires constant care and supervision.

After a two-week trial last month, jurors in Arapahoe County found the hospital liable for the girl’s injuries.

Editing by Laila Kearney and Sandra Maler