Washington D.C. Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements

Example Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlments in the District of Columbia

Below are a list of jury verdicts and settlements in Washington D.C. malpractice cases.

If you look at these results without reading this introduction, you are going to be misled. First, if you are buying into the "urban city means guaranteed big verdicts and lots of malpractice claims," think again. There are less than a dozen malpractice cases filed in D.C. each year and a small number of those go to verdict and... a small number of those end in a plaintiff's victory. This is the reality: more than 80% of these cases seem to end with a defense verdicts.

The take home message? This verdict and settlement data is useful - I think particularly useful to show to defense lawyer and insurance adjusters - but take it with a grain of salt. These are the winners.

2012 dcmalpracticesettlements
  • June 21, 2012 – $5,363,499 verdict; wrongful death case where the defendant’s failure to screen a 69-year-old male for colon cancer despite complaints of rectal bleeding and other symptoms indicative of colon cancer led to a delayed diagnosis and death
  • April 25, 2012 – $500,114 verdict; wrongful death case where the defendant radiologist group misinterpreted the mammogram of a 56-year-old female and reported a negative finding of breast cancer; the misreading of the film led to a 3-year delay in diagnosis; the plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with late stage breast cancer and died at the age of 60
  • April 2, 2012 – $810,000 settlement; a 55-year-old male emergency room patient complained of chest pain and shortness of breath; a chest X-ray film revealed a nodule, but the doctors did not immediately inform him of the results; the plaintiff then left the hospital without permission, and diagnosis of lung cancer was delayed
  • May 1, 2011 – $1,750,000 settlement; the chest X-ray of a 63-year-old female in 2005 revealed a mass on the left lung; the radiologist recommended a CT scan whichwas never performed, nor was the plaintiff advised of the X-ray findings; the doctors did not find out until 2008 about the lung malignancy, which resulted in a terminal prognosis
  • October 22, 2010 – $6,500,000 verdict; the defendant failed to properly treat a bacterial infection during the mother’s pregnancy, resulting in the premature birth of the baby; tests had revealed an abnormal urinalysis when the mother visited to the clinic, and the doctors did nothing; the child suffered from severe respiratory distress syndrome and other complications
  • April 1, 2010 – $6,950,000 settlement; the plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to properly monitor the fetus, reduce Pitocin, and timely deliver the baby, resulting in severe brain injury following the baby’s birth; the child will be unable to participate in normal activities for the rest of her life, nor will she be able to care for herself; she will need specialized treatment and 24/7 attendant care.
  • November 6, 2009 – $450,000 settlement; wrongful death case where the plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to administer the proper medications to a 21-year-old male gunshot victim to prevent him from developing a pulmonary embolus that ultimately caused his death
  • October 8, 2009 – $250,000 verdict; the plaintiff alleged that the defendant ob/gyns failed to apply proper maneuvers for dealing with shoulder dystocia and instead used excessive force in delivering the baby; the baby ended up suffering from Erb’s palsy, with pain and limited strength and range of motion in the dominant arm
  • September 14, 2009 – $662,500 settlement; a 12-year-old boy was injured playing baseball and complained of groin pain; the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to timely diagnose testicular torsion, resulting in the loss of the left testicle
  • December 1, 2008 – $6,900,000 settlement; the plaintiff, a newborn male, underwent surgery to remove the vestigial tail; the plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to identify, isolate, and protect the cauda equina during the surgery and partially transected it, resulting in paraplegia
  • April 23, 2008 – $2,200,000 verdict; a 72-year-old male plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to diagnose necrotizing otitis externa, which led to damage to the cranial nerves, swallowing problems, insertion of a feeding tube, weight loss, a permanent cough, and three surgeries
  • August 1, 2007 – $9,750,000 settlement; a 2-year-old female plaintiff was admitted to the defendant pediatric urologist due to urine reflux; the defendant implanted ureters, but the plaintiff continued to experience UTIs and underwent an ultrasound which showed blockage in left ureter; the defendant lost the ultrasound, resulting in her condition being unrecognized for a year; the plaintiff suffered loss of all function in the left kidney and compromised function in the right, and required need for dialysis and a future transplant
  • March 1, 2007 – $1,213,408 verdict; the 43-year-old male plaintiff suffered a work-related inguinal hernia; the defendant surgeon punctured the vena cava during surgery, resulting in the plaintiff losing 70% of his blood; he was hospitalized for 8 days and sustained brain damage
  • February 7, 2007 – $263,558 verdict; the 36-year-old female plaintiff was 20 weeks into pregnancy; a test revealed the chromosomal abnormality for Down’s Syndrome; the plaintiff scheduled a D&E, an abortion procedure, which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant ob/gyns negligently performed; the plaintiff suffered lacerations in uterus, right ovary, and sigmoid colon and had to undergo an abdominal hysterectomy
  • May 22, 2006 – $22,609,000 verdict; a 60-year-old male had a shunt that became infected at the skull surface; the defendant plastic surgeon covered it up with a flap of skin, resulting in a brain infection causing seizures, meningitis, and permanent neurologic injury
  • March 28, 2006 – $618,607 verdict; a 73-year-old female underwent cardiac bypass surgery; she required an endotracheal tube which led to an infection; as a result, she was unable to talk above a low whisper, had constant coughing, and scar tissue from repeated surgical attempts to correct the problem made it difficult for her to swallow
  • November 17, 2005 – $3,050,000 verdict; a 6-year-old boy’s legs were amputated after he developed an infection that was allegedly undiagnosed and untreated by the defendant doctor; the defendant referred the child to a pediatric clinic instead of the emergency room despite flu-like symptoms and vomiting
  • May 9, 2005 – $17,400,000 verdict; the defendant performed a C-section on the 28-year-old female plaintiff, lacerating her bladder, ureter and vagina; the plaintiff underwent a total hysterectomy; she was unable to bear children, suffered from PTSD, had overactive bladder syndrome, and experienced other medical complications
  • December 16, 2004 – $761,604 verdict; wrongful death case where a 47-year-old male patient treated for an injury to Achilles’ tendon died from a pulmonary embolism; the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to adequately address the potential risks of immobilizing the decedent’s leg in a cast after surgery
  • November 23, 2004 – $765,000 verdict; the defendant perforated the bladder of a 34-year-old female during an abdominal hysterectomy; the defendant also placed several sutures through the bladder during surgery and did not notice; the plaintiff suffered permanent urinary incontinence and underwent multiple surgeries to fix the ensuing infection
  • November 1, 2003 – $3,057,650 verdict; the 45-year-old plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s failure to perform routine mammograms at ages 40, 41, and 42 resulted in a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer
  • August 25, 2003 – $50,000,000 verdict; the 24-year-old female plaintiff experienced an anal sphincter tear during childbirth; she went to ob/gyn for examination; the records indicated that a recto-vaginal examination was performed, but in fact the rectal exam was never conducted; this resulted in the plaintiff having permanent partial bowel incontinence with fecal urgency that would worsen over time
  • April 10, 2003 – $900,000 verdict; a 38-year-old female underwent a myomectomy procedure for the removal of uterine fibroid tumors; the defendant used a type of incision that resulted in a cutaneous infection, which led to an uterineinfection and required a hysterectomy; the plaintiff was unable to bear children for the rest of her life
  • December 13, 2002 – $225,000 settlement; a 49-year-old male was shot in the face in a street robbery; a femoral IV was inserted, and the plaintiff alleged that the IV remained too long and caused permanent swelling of the leg which limited movement
  • November 8, 2002 – $250,000 verdict; the 76-year-old male plaintiff complained about peripheral vision problems in one eye; the defendant recommend a watch and wait approach, which resulted in an undiagnosed pituitary tumor hemorrhaging in a later surgery; the plaintiff suffered from optic nerve damage and permanent blindness in both eyes
  • November 6, 2002 – $899,000 verdict; the defendant neurosurgeon misplaced screws in the disk space of a 55-year-old female during an anterior cervical fusion, resulting in a change in voice tone and inflection and difficulty swallowing
  • September 1, 2002 – $500,000 settlement; the 67-year-old female plaintiff alleged that the defendant radiologist failed to properly interpret her mammogram, which led to a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer resulting in a terminal prognosis and a mastectomy
  • June 21, 2002 – $350,000 settlement; an 81-year-old female underwent gynecological surgery and sustained perforations to her uterus and rectum; she sustained permanent abdominal scarring, but there were no residual effects
  • June 6, 2002 – $1,552,000 verdict; the 50-year-old female plaintiff alleged that the defendant surgeon removed too much breast tissue during biopsy, resulting in a deformed breast; the plaintiff claimed that the surgeon removed more breast tissue that what had been agreed upon
  • April 1, 2002 – $950,000 settlement; wrongful death where the 49-year-old female decedent underwent a coronary angiography; the defendant cardiologist perforated her aorta during the surgery, resulting in hemorrhaging and cardiopulmonary arrest; she died of brain damage
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Please note: The above is an extremely unscientific sampling of medical malpractice verdicts and settlements. We pull settlements and verdicts on this website from a variety of sources, includling our own cases. There is no methodology to which cases are selected and they are certainly not representative of the value of your case or your client's case. Each medical malpractice case in the District of Columbia should be evaluated on its own merits.

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