University To Pay $15 Million To Brain-Injured Girl


Posted on 14th July 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In one of he largest medical malpractice settlements in the state’s history, the University of Washington (UW) will pay $15 million to the family of a girl who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) after using a nasal decongestant recommended by the school’s physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, according to the University Herald.

It’s unclear if a judge ordered the award or if it was a settlement, since the $15 million is described both ways in the story. At one point the story said that a  judge in King County Superior Court had ordered the award in the case involving MacKenzie Bryant. Her family filed suit against the hospital and UW.

In another section of the story, the money was described as a settlement.

MacKenzie got a cold, and had blocked nasal passages about four years ago. Dr. Cory Noel, a university cardiology fellow, suggested she take Afrin, despite the fact that the child’s cardiologist, Dr. Yuk Law, had warned that she shouldn’t take the decongestant because of her heart condition, the University Herald reported.

MacKenzie had previously had a  heart transplant.

Law was correct in his warning. MacKenzie had a cardiac arrest not long after her mother gave her the Afrin. As a result of the cardiac arrest, the girl’s brain was deprived of oxygen and she suffered TBI. Now she must have round-the-clock nursing care. She can’t talk, has to get nourishment through a stomach tube, and can’t move.

According to the University Herald, UW apologized for the girl’s brain injury but defended its doctor.

“We believe that the use of Afrin, a commonly used over-the-counter cold remedy, did not lead to MacKenzie’s [cardiac arrest]: However, the judge on this case ruled in favor of the plaintiff and her family,” the university said in a statement.




Widow Gets $6 Million For Husband’s Deadly Fall At A Rehab Facility


Posted on 26th November 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The widow of a man who died after falling out of a wheelchair and hitting his head at a New Jersey rehabilitation facility was awarded $6 millon by a jury last Friday, according to the Times of Trenton.

The panel in Mercer County, N.J., rendered the verdict on behalf of Elizabeth Shufflebotham, the wife of deceased George Shufflebotham, 62, of Lambertville, N.J., against the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center. The retired accountant-turned-real estate agent was rendered brain-dead following his fall there on Oct. 12, 2003.

Shufflebotham suffered a stroke at his home on Oct. 7, 2003, and was sent to the St. Lawrence facility for therapy on his left side. A few days later, Oct. 12, he fell out of his wheelchair and bumped his head. But the rehab facility did not make him undergo a CT scan, it instead just sent him back to bed, according to the Times.

But just hours later, a nurse noticed that Shufflebotham’s pupils were slowly reacting to light, which is an indicator of brain hemorrhaging. But the rehab facility still didn’t take him to the hospital.

It was only the next day, after Shufflebotham was vomiting and in a sweat, that St. Lawrence finally rushed him to the hospital. He was basically brain-dead at that point, and was put on life support. Then his brain totally stopped functioning and his family took him off life support. ‘

The lawsuit against St. Lawrence charged the facility with negligence, arguing that Shufflebotham could have been saved if a CT had been conducted right after his fall.