Jury Awards $7,260,000 in Malpractice Case

Date:02-06-1990
Publication:Staten Island Advance
Author:Raymond A. Witter
Case
Attorney(s):Thomas A. Moore
Practice Area(s):Medical Malpractice
Summary:A record-setting Staten Island verdict-$7.26 million-was awarded "to the father of a now 13-year-old boy who was born prematurely with brain damage and is now a spastic quadriplegic and blind," stated the Staten Island Advance article. The boy, Michael, also has cerebral palsy, and mental retardation with "the mental capacity of a four-month-old infant," and is institutionalized. Thomas Moore represented George Doerrbecker, the father of Michael, during the three-week-long trial with two days of deliberations.

Francine Doerrbecker, Michael's mother, had a condition whereby the placenta is not in a normal position, which can lead to bleeding. Her doctors recommended strict bed rest. Doctors then asked her to come in for shots of Delalutin, which was supposed to treat her bleeding. "It was testified that the federal government had withdrawn approval of the drug for pregnant women prior to Mrs. Doerrbecker giving birth," stated the article, "and after the delivery the drug was fully withdrawn from the market."

Mr. Moore argued that the drug should never have been prescribed. Other medical errors included an improper vaginal exam that led to a hemorrhage, which meant the baby had to be delivered by Cesarean five weeks early in a hospital that was not equipped to handle premature infants.