Jakob Medley is not like most 6-year-old boys. He will never ride a bike, play sports or even get a job. He has severe brain damage, is confined to a wheelchair, he can’t talk and will always be fed through a tube in his stomach. All because the hospital and medical staff made serious mistakes when he was born.
Ken Suggs & I represented Jakob’s family in this case. We were appalled at how the medical standards of care during his mother’s labor and Jakob’s delivery were disregarded. When we presented the evidence to the jury, they too were appalled.
Jury’s Verdict: The Hospital Must Pay for Their Mistakes
The jury sent a clear message with their $8.45 million verdict: Medical standards of care will be enforced, and when those standards are broken, those responsible will be held fully accountable for all of the harms they cause.
Hospital’s Appeal: Money More Important Than Jakob?
I’m not sure they got the message based on comments by the hospital’s attorney in a story by the Daily Report. He says he has no explanation for the size of the verdict and that they are considering an appeal.
I have an explanation for the size of the verdict – it is a reflection of how badly the hospital staff’s breaches in the standard of care hurt Jakob. The size of the verdict represents how much it will cost to take care of him, how much money he would have earned had his brain not been damaged, and compensation for the suffering he has endured every day of his life and always will. This is full compensation. The jury sent a clear message that when medical professionals in Hall County, Georgia break the standards of care and hurt someone, they will be required to pay full compensation.
They made us go to trial because they refused to accept responsibility for what they did, the risks they took, and the harms they caused. In my view, an appeal would reflect a continuing refusal to accept responsibility.
My Hope: That This Never Happens Again
I have the privilege and responsibility of representing children who have suffered brain damage due to mismanaged labor and delivery. For them, a lawsuit represents the only means to obtain the funds required for the care they will need throughout their lives. Some of these children will live into their 60s. Taxpayers should not have to pay for the consequences of the medical errors that caused their injuries. Those responsible should bear those costs.
Our clients are not cases or files on a shelf. They are people. People who put their trust in a doctor or hospital and had that trust betrayed. Their stories are unique. Their losses are personal and devastating. My role as their experienced medical malpractice lawyer is to tell those stories.
My hope is that his tragic case will cause a change at that hospital and others. That what happened to Jakob will never be permitted to happen to another family.