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5-year-old girl wins massive medical malpractice suit

Medical professionals are some of the most important and respected providers of vital services to our society. Patients with serious injuries or illnesses, especially elderly people and children, rely on doctors and nurses to improve and even save lives.

It is rare that clinicians and hospital staff make mistakes that negatively affect their patients. When it happens, however, victims of medical malpractice and their families often need to resort to civil court to make themselves whole with court-directed financial damages or other forms of reconciliation.

A family in southwestern Pennsylvania recently won one of the largest federal medical malpractice suits in the state's history. A jury in Johnstown awarded $47 million to the family with a 5-year-old daughter who suffered disfigurement directly after her premature birth. The verdict is owed by the supervising doctor and the hospital responsible for care.

The family's attorneys argued that the doctor ordered unusual care to treat head swelling directly after birth, which resulted in head deformity and the scalp's inability to grow hair. The verdict includes more than $3 million per year until 2095 for future medical expenses.

"This isn't just some cosmetic thing that we throw a hat or a wig on," according to one of the plaintiff's lawyers. "This is this little girl's being. This is her childhood. Her self-esteem."

Victims of medical malpractice may have a case for financial damages as well. An attorney or team of legal counsel may help file a civil lawsuit and pursue the case through to a favorable settlement, jury verdict or other acceptable outcome.

Source: TribLive.com, "Jury awards $47M for girl's disfiguring injuries in Johnstown malpractice suit," Jeff Himler, March 22, 2018

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