The Florida House of Representatives has passed the Aaron Edwards Bill, which awards the 14-year-old $15 million in his lawsuit against Lee Memorial Hospital. The Bill now heads to Governor Rick Scott’s desk, and he has said he will sign the bill. The passing of this bill directs Lee Hospital to pay Aaron a $10 million lump sum and $1 per year for the next five years. According to Naples News, if passed, this claims bill would be the second-largest ever in the state.
The Senate passed the House version of the bill in a landslide 32-4 vote, rejecting an amendment that would have decreased the payout to a total of $7.25 million. A jury previously found the hospital negligent and ordered it to pay $30 million. As Lee Memorial Hospital has sovereign immunity, they were only obligated to pay $200,000. Malpractice claims above that cap can be passed through a bill with the victim’s name, although the Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing the legality of these caps.
Aaron reportedly has serious cerebral palsy and needs a new wheelchair, a handicap accessible house and a spot in a school where he can learn to communicate. Lee Memorial responded that it “firmly believes that Aaron Edwards' injuries were NOT caused by our care. We are grateful to Senators Mike Bennett and Garrett Richter who stood up for our community and tried to strike a reasonable balance that would have provided for Aaron Edward's future needs, while not damaging Lee Memorial's ability to provide for the health care of people in our area.”
When a baby is injured at birth due to the negligence of an individual, hospital, or other entity, the child’s family may have legal recourse to seek monetary damages for the infant’s injuries. Birth injuries can be debilitating for families, often having lasting effects. If your newborn has suffered from a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, future treatment expenses, and pain and suffering. To find out if you could possibly pursue legal recourse, contact an experienced birth injury attorney for a free case review.