A jury in Chicago has awarded what will likely be a $101 million verdict to a family whose son suffered brain damage due to medical malpractice.
Gerald Sallis suffered severe brain damage when he went for six hours without oxygen. Cook County jurors found that while Sallis was a fetus in his mother’s womb, West Suburban Medical Center nurses and staff failed to properly monitor her, even after she told them she couldn’t feel her baby move, according to CBS 2.
Tequila Snow was 34 weeks pregnant when she came to the hospital in 2014. She told CBS 2 she informed the nurses “My baby isn’t moving as he normally does. Something isn’t right,” yet hospital staff didn’t call a doctor and didn’t monitor Sallis’ oxygen levels resulting in him being born with brain damage.
Gerald, who requires around-the-clock care, is five years old but can’t talk or walk. Snow said although he smiles and laughs frequently and is the “bright light of everybody’s lives,” the negligent actions of hospital staff stripped her son of a good quality of life.
“He just isn’t a normal person, and that was taken away from him,” Snow told CBS. “I didn’t think the nurses and people who work at the hospitals didn’t care. I thought they were there to save lives. Instead, they ruined the wonderful family that I was looking forward to.”
Snow said the money will give her the ability to bring Gerald home.
“He is all I have, and I’m going now to let him know that he’s coming home very soon,” she said.
CBS 2 reports that the nurse who neglected to check on Snow is still working at the hospital, however the ultrasound tech has retired.
After what the news station called a “record-breaking” verdict, an attorney who represents the company that owns the hospital released a statement that read: “We will not appeal. Although we are obviously disappointed with the jury’s verdict, we respect the will of the jury and wish the Sallis family well.”