A grandmother in the Bronx, New York, has been awarded $110.6 million in damages by a jury in a malpractice lawsuit against St. Barnabas Hospital and four of its doctors.
Keimoneia Redish was left with crippling speech and motor deficits after the lack of care she received while admitted to the New Jersey hospital after suffering an asthma attack back in 2010, the New York Daily News reported. Friday’s verdict could be the largest malpractice award granted in a single-plaintiff suit, her attorney said.
The Bronx woman said she felt “numb” upon hearing the good news.
“I’ve been fighting for so long,” Redish, who now receives ’round-the-clock care from her boyfriend, told the newspaper, adding, “I was angry, but I put it aside. I came to the reality [that] I have to deal with it.”
The crux of Redish’s lawsuit centered on the argument that she should’ve been transferred to a different facility with advanced technology known as ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which could’ve removed the build up of carbon dioxide in her brain, preventing lifelong, irreversible damage.
Instead, Drs. Darryl Adler, Richard Stumacher, Abdurham Ahmed and Ronald Ciubutaro continued treating the mother of five at the St. Barnabas facility and at one point moved her to the “dark side” of the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to the complaint.
“That’s the one [for] patients not recovering — they send them to the back, like they’re going to die,’’ she testified in court.
Redish, 48, who’s now confined to a wheelchair and has slurred speech, spent a total 328 days in the hospital and in nursing homes before returning to her own home in October 2011.
“She was an amazing mom, the vice president of the PTA,” said her attorney, Richard Gurfein. “She was the center of the family.”
At trial, Redish fought assertions that she hadn’t done enough to promote her own recovery from the debilitating asthma attack. A transcript of her testimony provided to the Daily News by Gurfein stated: “I’d heard [the defense lawyer] say I fell using the walker because I always tried to walk. But I fell that day because I refused to be down.”
“I don’t want to be this way,” she concluded.