17-year-old girl wins $135M lawsuit in malpractice case
Detroit — A 17-year-old Wyandotte girl won $135 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit against Detroit Medical Center.
Faith DeGrand, who was 10 at the time, received improper medical treatment that left her with permanent weakness in her arms and legs and loss of bowel and bladder control, said her attorney, Geoffrey Fieger.
A jury returned the verdict Monday after a two-week trial in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Fieger said it was one of the largest medical malpractice awards in the country this year.
"The hero jury awarded appropriate damages for these horrific, life-destroying injuries," he said.
The Detroit Medical Center could not be reached for comment.
DeGrand had entered Detroit Medical Center in 2011 for surgery to correct a sideways curvature of her spine, said Fieger.
A doctor placed rods on her spine to relieve the compression of her spinal cord, said Fieger. Instead of providing relief, the devices affected her limbs and bowel and bladder.
After 10 days, another doctor recognized the problem and removed the rods from her body, said Fieger.
But it was too late, the attorney said. DeGrand was left with the problems on a permanent basis.
She also had to use a wheelchair for a year.
During the trial, the hospital argued that the cause of the medical problems was a blood clot, and that it was helpless to do anything about it, said Fieger.
"The defense was mind-boggling," said Fieger.