Janurary 21, 2002 - Botched Procedure Causes Brain Damage $10.8 Million Verdict
An Alachua County jury handed down a $10.8 million verdict against Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida because of a botched operation that led to brain damage in a six-year-old boy. The parents of Gary Juliana took their then 2-month-old baby to Shands in 1996 after the infant was diagnosed with respiratory distress and a heart murmur.
During surgery, the perfusionist, a technician responsible for oxygenation of the blood made critical mistakes while operating a heart-lung machine. As a result, the flow of oxygen to the brain was stopped which led to the boy's injuries. Gary now suffers from cerebral palsy, clinical blindness, loss of speech and mental retardation. Prior to the trial the family settled with the perfusionist, who was an independent contractor, for $2 million.