When on trial in a personal injury case, it is important not only to win a verdict but to ensure that it’s conducted in a manner that protects against a possible – and often probable -- appeal later on.
Take, for instance, the birth injury case that resulted in April 2017 in a $41.6 million verdict against the federal government for its employment of an obstetrician whose poor use of forceps resulted in a child suffering permanent intellectual and physical disabilities. Not only was the verdict believed to be the largest ever in a medical malpractice case in the U.S. middle district of Pennsylvania, but also the largest medical malpractice verdict ever won against the federal government in the commonwealth. Kline & Specter attorney Regan Safier hailed the award as a victory for the severely impaired child, identified only as D.A., and also recognition of the government’s fair responsibility for his future care as well as pain and suffering.
But within 60 days of the verdict by U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo following a six-day bench trial, the government filed a notice of appeal. Several dates for mediation of the case were set but negotiations were never held. Finally, in January 2018, defense attorneys announced that the government would not fight the case after all. The feds withdrew their appeal and agreed to pay the full $41.6 million awarded.
“The government recognized that their issues on appeal were without merit and that the verdict was just and appropriate. The judge recognized the catastrophic injuries suffered by this child and awarded the money necessary to care for him over his lifetime,” said Safier.
The government’s decision to withdraw its appeal will ensure that D.A. gets prompt and full medical and other health care.