Disabled Girl Gets $56,000,000 Award

Date:20-02-2002
Publication:Daily News
Author:Helen Peterson
Case
Attorney(s):Thomas A. Moore
Practice Area(s):Medical Malpractice
Summary:Thirteen-year-old Beth Meyers' "doctors failed miserably," said her attorney, Thomas Moore, a Daily News article reported, and a Manhattan jury awarded the girl $56 million ($45 million for future pain and suffering, $5 million for past pain and suffering, and $6 million for medical care). Beth is now blind, must use a wheelchair, and has severe cerebral palsy. Her mother, Gloria Meyers, said, "[The verdict] won't reverse Beth's injuries, but it has given her some dignity."

Beth was born in 1989, one of triplet girls. She had hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain, as did her sister, Alyssa. Crystal, the third sister, did not have the condition. For both Beth and Alyssa, temporary shunts were inserted, to drain the fluid from the brain to the abdomen. Two months later, Beth developed symptoms that included lethargy, moaning, vomiting and diarrhea. Doctors thought she had a milk allergy. But the shunt had punctured her intestines and an E. coli infection then "ravaged" her brain. "Infection is a well-known risk in this type of procedure," Mr. Moore said, "yet doctors failed miserably to recognize Beth's obvious symptoms. The horror of this case is, of course, that you see what Beth could have been because you have these other two sisters," Mr. Moore said. Alyssa and Crystal are both honor students.
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