Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan was involved in a lawsuit with Faith DeGrand, who sued the hospital for medical malpractice. DeGrand’s case began in 2013. She was just 10 years old when she underwent surgery for scoliosis at the DMC hospital.
The surgery led to life-changing events that would result in Wayne County jurors awarding DeGrand, now 17, $135 million in damages.
DeGrand’s lawyers claim that doctors had ignored signs that her surgery had led to further injury and pain. The surgery, which was not performed correctly, involved hardware that caused DeGrand’s spinal cord to become compressed.
Doctors ignored complaints from their patient, and instead, went on vacation two separate times while DeGrand suffered.
She had screws and rods inserted in an attempt to straighten her spine. The hardware left numbness in all extremities. Lawyers for the plaintiff claim that the bars, hooks and screws should have been removed immediately.
Lawyers suggest that during this time, DeGrand was left alone in paralysis and was completely incontinent. The hardware was the cause of the paralysis, and it wasn’t until another doctor examined DeGrand that the severity of the issue was recognized. The hardware was promptly removed, but the damaged sustained as a result of the hospital’s negligence remained.
DeGrand has permanent Quadraparesis and loss of all bladder and bowel control. She continues to suffer from weakness in her limbs and had to stay in a wheelchair for a year, according to reports.
She will suffer from lifelong complications as a result of her doctor’s negligence. The defense tried to argue that Faith suffered from a blood clot that caused her injuries. Defense attorneys were unable to provide proof of a blood clot, which the plaintiff’s attorneys have called a “phantom blood clot.” There are no records verifying that doctors had found a blood clot.
Representatives for the hospital are considering an appeal in what lawyers for DeGrand claim is the single largest medical malpractice verdict ever granted in the United States.
“Part of the Hippocratic oath is a promise to do no harm, but doctors and medical professionals are human and sometimes, mistakes happen. While some errors create nothing more than an annoying inconvenience for patients, others can leave people and their families seriously affected,” writes Langer & Langer, a firm not involved in the case.
Lawyers for DeGrand claim that she will have the money she needs to cover the medical care she requires for the rest of her life.