In Copyright Since September 11,
Originally Posted At: http://www.morelaw.com/verdicts/case.asp?n=TC007065&s=CA&d=8194
Case Style: Dawnelle Barris v. County of Los Angeles
Case Number: TC007065
Judge: Victoria Chavez
Court: Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California
Plaintiff's Attorney: Kenneth M. Sigelman of Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates, San Diego, California and Penelope A. Phillips, Los Angeles, California
Defendant's Attorney: Mark Weinstein and William G. Leib and Timothy T. Coates and Alison M. Turner of Greines, Martin, Stein, & Richland, Beverly Hills, California
Description: Wrongful death - Emergency Medical Treatment and Active labor Act (EMTALA) - Plaintiff brought her 18-month old daughter to the emergency room at Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center. Their medical insurance was with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and although this Medical Center was a non-Kaiser facility, it was the nearest emergency room. The doctor examined the daughter and believed her to have a bacterial infection which could be treated with antibiotics. The doctor called a physician at Kaiser to obtain permission to do a blood test that would confirm sepsis and treatment could be started immediately. The Kaiser physician instructed the Medical Center physician not to perform the tests and to wait for instructions to transfer the daughter to a Kaiser facility. The daughter was subsequently transferred to a Kaiser facility. Within 15 minutes of her arrival, she suffered cardiac arrest and died. A blood culture performed as part of an autopsy was positive for streptococcus bacteria.
Outcome: The jury assessed economic damages of $3,000 and noneconomic damages of $11,350,000. The Superior Court granted county's motion to reduce noneconomic damages to $250,000, pursuant to Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) damages cap.
Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown
Defendant's Experts: UnknownComments: Affirmed by the Supreme Court of California. See: 972 P.2d 966 (Cal. 1999). Reported by bsg.