Nebraska family awarded $26M in child’s malpractice lawsuit

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 9:37 AM MST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) – A family in Nebraska was awarded $26 million for a malpractice lawsuit, the largest amount the state has seen of this kind.

According to 6 News, the Marousek family sued Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha after their daughter, Vivianne, was treated as a baby for seizures.

“She suffered a severe brain injury because of further seizures,” said her mother, Andrea Marousek. “She never should have been discharged.”

The girl’s family said the seizures didn’t stop, and she suffered permanent brain damage.

Vivi, just a couple of months away from her sixth birthday, needs around-the-clock care. She can’t walk or talk or feed herself.

It’s been this way since she was 11 months old.

“Sometimes I forget Vivianne was a happy, healthy girl,” her dad Jake Marousek said. “But this is my Vivi now. She’s a happy and healthy girl who is severely disabled.”

Part of the $26 million jury award is aimed at helping provide her with future care.

“We felt justice was finally served and happy the jury saw the truth in it,” Vivi’s mom said.

But they may only receive $4.5 million instead of the $26 million the jury awarded, because the state has a cap on medical malpractice verdicts.

An attorney for the hospital has asked the judge to enforce the cap, but Vivanne’s attorney said the cap is unconstitutional, designed to insulate insurance companies and medical providers.

In practice, he says it violates patient rights; it doesn’t protect them.

Children’s Hospital provided 6 News with a statement response on Thursday:

“We sympathize with this child. ... We strongly maintain that the evidence presented clearly showed that our team provided the appropriate standard of care.”

A hearing has been set for late January.

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