$10.1 Million Verdict in Mother of Child in Delayed Diagnosis Suit

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

On December 21, 2009, 11-month-old Shamir Tillery was taken to the emergency room at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for respiratory problems, only to be sent home twice. On his third visit to the hospital doctors diagnosed Shamir with bacterial meningitis. Shamir’s mother filed suit against the hospital on her son’s behalf arguing that the hospital should have explored diagnoses beyond respiratory issues when Shamir kept returning to the hospital with worsening symptoms. Plaintiff additionally argued that in conjunction with exploring alternate diagnoses, the hospital should have ordered blood work and a lumbar puncture.

As a result of the delayed diagnosis of meningitis, Shamir suffers from hearing loss, central language disorder, developmental and learning delays and a loss of balance due to bone growth that affected his vestibular nerve.

On November 17, 2015, after a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict of $10.1 million consisting of $1.6 million in future medical costs, $1.1 million for loss of earnings and $7.5 million in noneconomic damages. The jury found Children’s Hospital 60% liable and the attending physician for Shamir 40% liable.

The case is: Tillery v. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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