August 26, 2011

A potpourri of recent eight-figure punitive awards against medical care providers

$18 million punitive damages award (on top of $18.7 million compensatory award): A Florida jury was not pleased with the behavior of a suspended doctor (James Scott Pendergraft IV), whose clinic reportedly mishandled the medical services provided to patient who sought an abortion, but who ended up giving birth to a severely disabled child. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the trial judge last week denied posttrial motions challenging the July 2011 verdict.

$80 million punitive award (on top of $11.5 million compensatory award): According to a plaintiffs' firm press release, a West Virginia jury found that the defendant nursing home was responsible for the dehydration death of one of its patients. An appeal is apparently in the works. The case is Douglas v. Manor Care Inc.

Honorable mention --- punitive damages anticipated after jury awarded $2.287 compensatory damages: the Pennsylvania Record says that, after a three week trial in a case titled Williams vs. Willow Terrace et al., a jury found nursing home defendants were responsible for the poor care of a patient who developed pressure ulcers and ultimately died from them.