A recent case in Oregon shows just how absurd caps on personal injury verdicts can be. The case in which a jury returned a unanimous $12 million verdict involved a nine-month-old boy who underwent liver surgery at Oregon Health and Science University in 2009. During the procedure the surgeon cut vessels on the left side of the infant’s liver, causing severe damage that nearly killed the child and caused him to undergo seven more major surgeries, including a liver transplant.
However, because of an Oregon cap on personal injury verdicts, the boy and his family can only receive $3 million, which will not even cover the cost of his liver transplant. The family is now faced with a pile of medical bills plus constant treatment and observation of their child for the rest of his life.
Although OHSU has already voluntarily paid the Hortan family $3 million, lawyers representing the Hortan family think that the hospital is hiding behind the cap instead of doing the right thing and paying the full verdict, according to news reports. The next step for the Hortan Family is bringing their medical malpractice lawsuit before the Oregon Supreme Court to challenge the current limits of the personal injury cap. If they succeed in reaching the Supreme Court it will be the first time the cap has been challenged since the new limits were put in place in 2009. Get more information about medical malpractice lawsuits.