$1.8M Medical Malpractice Settlement to Family of Disabled Child

The family of a young child who suffered a brain injury when her oxygen levels dropped precariously during chest surgery in September 2012 will receive a $1.8 million settlement from the Virginia hospital where the procedure was performed.

The child, Michelle Zhang, was 21 months old when she was brought by her parents to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Sept. 18, 2012, suffering from pneumonia, respiratory distress and other symptoms, according to an Oct. 14 story in The Roanoke Times.

The girl’s parents, including her father Percival Zhang, sued the hospital following her treatment, alleging that a video-assisted surgical procedure in her chest left the child with a permanent brain injury. When she was brought to the hospital, she was also suffering from bacteria in her blood, low blood platelets and systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or SIRS, a condition similar to sepsis producing systemic inflammation and possible organ failure, the story reported. A procedure known as a single lung ventilation was also conducted during the surgery.

“The toddler’s oxygen levels rapidly began dropping during surgery, causing the child to suffer cardiac arrest, leading to the brain injury,” the story said. The doctors should have ended the surgical procedure when “it became apparent that Michelle was not tolerating … [single lung ventilation],” according to the lawsuit.

The family sued for emotional distress and mental pain and suffering, as well as for the child’s injuries, which will lead to a loss of income and diminished earning capacity, the lawsuit alleged.

The settlement, which was approved by a Virginia judge in September, will provide more than $5,000 a month to the child for 50 years once she becomes an adult, the story reported. In addition, lump-sum payments of $50,000 are to be distributed to a special needs trust fund. State law in Virginia caps medical malpractice awards at just over $2 million, the story added.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-(866) 352-4572 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.