Louisiana Medical Malpractice Award Cap Ruled Unconstitutional

December 13, 2010 – Sulphur, LA – A Louisiana court of appeals has ruled that the state’s medical malpractice award cap is unconstitutional, Courthouse News Service has reported.  Joe and Helena Oliver were awarded a $6.2 million settlement in their medical malpractice suit after their daughter developed severe and permanent injuries because of the negligence of a nurse practitioner practicing with only a high school degree. The Oliver’s award was reduced to $500,000 by the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.  The Olivers had brought their infant daughter, Taylor, to the Magnolia Clinic to be treated for vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Taylor was seen by Susan Duhon, a registered nurse practitioner and owner of Magnolia Clinic, 32 times before she was even a year old.  Though it is legally required that Duhon consult a physician before prescribing medications, Taylor was never seen by a doctor during any of the visits.  Taylor was on more than 30 medications over the course of the year.

At 14 months of age, Taylor was finally taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. The cancer is recognizable in its early stages by severe bruising around the eyes, symptoms Taylor had when she was seen at Magnolia at only 6 months old.  If neuroblastoma is diagnosed and treated in the first year of life, the child usually has a 90 percent chance of making an event-free recovery. Because of the delay, Taylor’s head is now misshapen by a tumor, her eyes are abnormally large and she is legally blind.  When the Oliver’s won their lawsuit, they were awarded a $6.2 million settlement, a sum that was quickly reduced to $500,000 by Louisiana’s cap. An appeals court overturned the cap as unconstitutional, as it allowed less severely injured patients to recover more fully than those as severely injured as Taylor Oliver.

Contacting a New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you have sustained a serious injury or lost a loved one because of medical negligence you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages and suffering. Consulting with a New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you better understand your rights, determine liability for your injuries and decide if filing a medical malpractice claim is right for you.  At Gacovino Lake & Associates we have formed a dedicated network of medical malpractice lawyers that serve clients nationwide. Our New York office serves residents of the 5 boroughs with their auto accident, medical malpractice, defective drug, premises liability and Workers’ Compensation claims. For experienced help with your medical malpractice claim, contact us today – 1-800-246-4878.

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