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Family Wins Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Over Failure to Diagnose Newborn’s Virus

A Broward County teenager and her family made headlines Oct. 5 when they won $4.3 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to an Oct. 5 article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Kroll family sued doctors at Coral Springs Medical Center for allegedly misdiagnosing a virus that affected their daughter Haylee when she was just a newborn. Now 15 and a sophomore at Deerfield Beach High School, Haylee has vision problems, a learning disability and permanent cirrhosis of the liver attributed to the illness, called an enterovirus, that affected her as an infant. The medical center was not a defendant in the case, but the jury found two doctors, Jose Colindres and Sedigheh Zolfaghari, liable for Haylee’s injuries. Two other doctors were found not liable.

The enteroviruses are a group of viruses with effects ranging from the common cold to polio, meningitis and other serious illnesses. They are a serious threat to newborn babies who have not yet fully developed their immune systems. The first sign of trouble for the Krolls was when Haylee developed bruises and jaundice; a few days later, she had a brain aneurysm. They said doctors at first told them not to worry, then said to expect Haylee’s death. They contended in their suit that doctors failed to run blood or liver tests that could have helped them diagnose the enterovirus sooner, helping them to avoid the permanent damage to Haylee’s body. The case was first filed when Haylee was around two years old, but was only decided now because of scheduling issues and a 2007 mistrial.

The Sun-Sentinel offered a video interview with Haylee and her mother, Cynthia Kroll:


The $4.3 million the family won may seem exceptionally large to some observers. But as a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney, I am not surprised by such a verdict in this type of case. Medical malpractice claims must cover all of the costs of the injury, including all past and future costs of medical treatment, over the victim’s entire lifetime. Unfortunately, brain injuries like Haylee’s will never go away — they will always affect their victims to some degree, and likely always need some amount of extra medical attention. For the same reason, Haylee will always struggle with her vision and learning problems — that is, she is permanently disabled. The $4.3 million judgment covers all of these injuries and others, as well as compensation for her family’s suffering.

The Plantation medical malpractice lawyers at Cohn, Smith & Cohn are proud to represent victims of medical malpractice throughout the state of Florida. Everyone has bad days at work, but when doctors make serious mistakes, those mistakes can literally and figuratively scar patients for a lifetime. When a medical mistake is so severe and so unprofessional that it falls below the standards of care for the area’s medical community, it may be medical malpractice. Our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys help patients hold careless medical professionals legally liable for their injuries and claim the compensation they need to treat those injuries. In a lawsuit, you can win compensation for all financial costs of the injury, any permanent disability or wrongful death, and the pain and emotional trauma the injury caused.

If you or a loved one was seriously hurt by a medical error and you’d like to learn more about your case and your rights, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. To set up a free consultation, please call our main office in Hollywood at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online today.

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