Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora has been ordered to pay $17.8 million for a medication error, the largest medical malpractice verdict in Colorado history.
Denver attorneys Jim Puga, JD, and Sean Leventhal, JD, won the record verdict in the case involving a medication error prior to surgery for Naomi Pressey when she was four days old.
Naomi was born Feb. 6, 2008, in Colorado Springs, with a common congenital heart defect that can be surgically repaired. She was transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado, where doctors confirmed the diagnosis and put her on prostaglandin until surgery.
Hospital staff members gave Naomi the wrong dose of prostaglandin, and the infant went into cardiac arrest on the operating table Feb. 10, 2008, according to the lawsuit. They could not resuscitate her for 33 minutes, which caused Naomi to suffer a severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury, resulting in cerebral palsy, among other conditions.
Now 7 years old, Naomi suffers from significant intellectual disability, cognitive impairment, and serious gross and fine motor skill impairment. Throughout her life, she will require around-the-clock care and supervision.
With interest and costs, the verdict will exceed $20 million. After state-mandated damage caps are applied, the nearly $1 million awarded in non-economic damages will be reduced to $300,000.