Editor’s Choice: Jury Awards Edition
An Ohio mother who sued the hospital where she gave birth to her daughter won a $8.5 million jury award for permanent brain injuries to the baby during labor.
Tierra Myers gave birth to daughter Nala in 2009 at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. After delivery Nala had a heartbeat but was not breathing.
According to Myers’ lawsuit, the baby did not get enough oxygen to her brain because the hospital delayed her resuscitation. Nala is tube-fed, unable to talk or walk and will never be able to care for herself.
The family’s attorney, William S. Jacobson, argued in the three-week trial that the obstetrics nurse in charge tried to resuscitate the baby, but waited five minutes before calling the hospital’s Code Pink team of experts to help get the baby breathing again.
He also argued that the most telling piece of evidence was that the records showing the baby’s Apgar score, which measures a newborn’s vital statistics like heart rate and respiration, was altered to look better than it actually was.
A hospital spokesperson said that while the hospital sympathized with the family, the case involved complex medical issues and the staff acted appropriately.
The jury stayed late into a weekend to deliberate before awarding $8.5 million to the mother. The verdict was announced at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, which happened to be Nala’s third birthday.
An ex-police dispatcher in Michigan has won a $1 million jury verdict against a detective for how he responded to her own call to police.
Sonte “Linda” Everson reported to the sheriff’s department that she was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, who was a Battle Creek, Mich., police officer.
A detective, Guy Picketts, filed a report but the county didn’t press charges against the police officer.
Law enforcement then went beyond the call of duty: Pickett arrested Everson, not her ex-boyfriend, and prosecutor John Hallacy charged her with filing a false police report.
Both her former boyfriend and the detective have since died.
In a trial against the detective’s estate, Everson’s attorney argued that the detective arrested Everson because she criticized his investigation of the sexual assault.
Jennifer B. Salvatore, who represented Everson, said she always believed that “once the jury had a chance to look at the evidence they would understand that Everson was a victim of sexual assault and realize how wrong it was that she was arrested.”
A lawyer for the county said it was difficult to present a defense because individuals had passed away.
Salvatore called the jury’s decision to award nearly $1.1 million “a vindication” for her client.
Everson herself said, “I am grateful to God and my son and the family who have stood by me and believed in me.”
A jury awarded a couple $11.4 million in a seven-year dispute over a land deal with the city of Hillview, Ky.
Jim and Debby Carter own a trucking school called Truck America Training and had an agreement to purchase a 40-acre piece of land owned by the city.
The couple located its truck-driving school on the land in 2002. But in 2004, the city evicted the school.
The couple’s lawsuit argued that city breached the lease-purchase agreement between the company and city by forcing the school off the land, which now sits vacant.
Attorney Andrew G. Beshear, who represented the Carters and their business, said the jury award would make up for the couple’s years of struggle over the land.
“I’m thrilled about what this means for Jim, Debby, and their school,” Beshear said. “These people have lived through seven years of financial devastation, for which they may finally be compensated. Helping people like Jim and Debby is why I come to work each morning.”