Saturday, 15 of December of 2018

North Carolina Hospital Ordered to Pay $25 Million for Failing to Notice Child Abuse

A private out-of-court settlement was reached after the verdict in which the hospital agreed not to appeal the ruling.

By James Lewis, Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice lawsuits are not just about incorrect treatment or medication misadministration at hospitals. They can also be brought for a failure to recognize abuse or ill treatment of someone who is admitted to a hospital.

On October 4, 2011, a jury ordered Cape Fear Valley Health System in North Carolina (NC) to pay nearly $25 million to a severely injured boy and his father in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Fayetteville Observer reported. However, a private out-of-court settlement was reached after the verdict in which the hospital agreed not to appeal the ruling. The settlement amount may vary from the verdict which said the boy should receive $20 million and his father should receive $4.87 million.

The boyfriend of the child’s mother had been abusing the youngster, according to evidence that was brought in the case. When he was 6 years old, the boy was admitted to the hospital in an unconscious state, with a fractured skull and brain damage. The boyfriend was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse as a result.

The boy is now 14 and he is unable to control his body or talk or walk. He lives with his father in Charleston, WV, and requires constant care.

As experienced North Carolina and Virginia (VA) medical malpractice attorneys, my colleagues and I are horrified by this tragic case. Had the hospital picked up on the warning signs earlier on, this boy may still be living a normal life today.  Sadly all too often hospitals show negligence that amounts to medical malpractice. In 2010 we noted a case in which a Granville, NC, woman sued a hospital for negligence over the death of her son.

Bernice Allen said she told Granville Medical Center not to release her son until she arrived. Her son, William, suffered from epileptic seizures and was disabled. She told hospital staff that he was unable to make it home alone. When the mother arrived to pick up her son, however, he was gone. His body was recovered in a ravine seven months after his disappearance.

We have represented a number of clients who have been unnecessarily injured or who have died as a result of medical malpractice. In 1999 we represented the estate of a 56-year-old retired FBI agent whose doctor failed to diagnose an aortic aneurysm. A jury at Suffolk Circuit Court in Virginia returned a $700,000 verdict against the emergency room physician.


About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.