woman won 120mill brain damage

In 2004, an NYC woman Jacqueline Martin developed a rare skin disorder which doctors at three different hospitals failed to diagnose. Martin's family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, alleging that she suffered brain damage due to the hospital’s failure to diagnose her illness and negligence in medical care. According to the New York Times, a Bronx jury awarded Martin $120 million in damages - one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts ever awarded in the state.

Failure to Diagnose Caused Brain Damage

When Jacqueline Martin, a mother of two, was stricken with a rare skin disease in 2004, she visited three hospitals in NYC. The doctors at all three hospitals failed to recognize and diagnose her disorder initially. This negligence on the hospitals' behalf led to her developing brain damage. Her family sued the three hospitals for medical negligence - Kings County Hospital Center, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, and Jacobi Medical Center. 

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the doctors at these three hospitals failed to diagnose Jacqueline’s disease or provide her timely medical, care which led to a deterioration of her condition, ultimately causing brain damage.

Jacqueline's mother filed the lawsuit on her behalf, and according to the medical malpractice lawyer representing her, she made a series of visits to all three hospitals in Feb. 2004, but hospital personnel did not respond quickly enough or provide the necessary treatment. She was initially taken in for seizure treatment and developed swellings in her face, eyes, and throat due to the seizure medication. After a month, she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome - a severe and rare skin disorder.

The jury allocated responsibility for negligence to all three hospitals and one neurologist:

  • 50% to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx
  • 40% to Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn
  • 5% to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center
  • 4% to one of the neurologists

One percent responsibility was allocated to Jacqueline Martin, who had initially gone in for seizure treatment, but her lawyer said that it resulted from a jury misunderstanding. 

Martin used to earn less than $40,000 a year, but she was awarded $10 million in lost earnings. Her medical bills covered by Medicaid totaled $583,000, but she was awarded $5 million for past medical costs. 

The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation declined to discuss specifics but mentioned that some aspects of the award seemed excessive. Moore said that the award did seem excessive in the sum of $15 million, but that it was consistent with the nature of Martin's tremendous ordeal.

The Legal Aspect

Medical malpractice is a plight that affects the lives of victims and their families in severe ways. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice in NYC, you should consult a medical malpractice attorney to help you get justice and compensation for your suffering and pain. An experienced medical negligence lawyer can help you file a strong lawsuit, present evidence, and take your case to its logical conclusion.

For a free review of your case, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online.


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