Family Awarded $17.8 Million in Malpractice Suit

Family Awarded $17.8 Million in Malpractice Suit

The family of a young girl who suffered severe brain damage after an anesthesiology error was awarded a record award of $17.8 million.

Alexis Hayes, 5, was a healthy happy four-month-old baby who was taken to the hospital in September 2001 to undergo an elective benign cyst removal surgery.

At 12:30 p.m., Alexis was given anesthesia when her blood pressure and heart rate rapidly dropped. Her anesthesiologist, rather than waiting for Alexis to fully recover, continued to administer a second dose of anesthesia—a medical mistake that lead to permanent brain damage.

Alexis, once a perfectly health baby, now suffers from life-long disabilities including cerebral palsy and requires round-the-clock care.

In 2003, her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the anesthesiologist Dr. Sharon Benoit and her company, Children's Anesthesia Associates Inc. A Franklin County, Ohio jury found both defendants negligent in treating Alexis, claiming their actions directly resulted in the child's injuries.

Alexis was awarded $16 million in damages to cover past and future medical costs, special education, lost enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. Her parents will each receive $800,000. This medical malpractice verdict is the largest in the county, exceeding a $12 million award in 1990.

“I'm so glad it's over. I knew it was a strong case. You can't take a healthy baby and come out with brain damage without negligence,” said Alexis's father, Randy Jackson.

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