A jury sided with the parents of an injured child in their lawsuit against two physicians and a nurse practitioner at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
The child, Edward Xu, now nine years old, was born prematurely. Xu’s family alleged that the three healthcare practitioners were negligent in their response to the infant’s symptoms of a potentially fatal condition affecting newborns. Because of this negligence, the family claimed, a portion of the baby’s intestines had to be removed and he is now unable to digest food and requires continuous overnight tube feeding.
Tufts said in a statement that the physicians and nurse practitioner “performed early medical and surgical interventions to save his life, using the most advanced techniques available. Our care team is saddened that the best medicine available could not give him a better outcome.” However, the medical center added that half the infants born the same year as Xu, under similar circumstances developed medical complications and as many as 15% died.
While the jury was deliberating, the attorneys for both sides reached what is known as a “high/low agreement” where the parties all agree to a maximum and a minimum award amount, depending on the jury verdict. The jury ultimately found the nurse practitioner not liable, but award approximately $30 million to the Xu family, which was reduced to $5.3 million, the agreed upon maximum.
According to the plaintiff’s attorney, insurance will pay the verdict, and the Xu family may still be able to explore other ways to satisfy the jury’s judgment.