A medical malpractice case has made its way to the Supreme Court, and the outcome of the case could have substantial implications for medical malpractice victims’ ability to receive the compensation they are owed following a successful settlement of their case. The case involves Emily Armstrong and her parents, who successfully sued the doctor who delivered Emily and the institution at which he worked for medical malpractice after a difficult delivery left Emily with a debilitating case of cerebral palsy. The doctor had a history of prescription-drug abuse, and he was forced to surrender his license mere months after the botched delivery occurred.
As a result of the injuries sustained during childbirth, Emily was rendered unable to walk, talk, see, or speak, and state officials estimate that nearly $2 million has already been spent in state Medicaid funds in order to provide her with the care she needs. As a result, the state placed a lien on a portion of the malpractice settlement in order to recoup some of the costs of its care. However, the family is challenging the legality of this law, claiming that it conflicts with federal laws prohibiting states from placing liens on the property of Medicaid beneficiaries for their care.
The family has hired a medical malpractice attorney with experience at the state level, and the case will soon be decided by the Court. The outcome could have substantial consequences for the ability of families throughout the country to receive the full amounts of settlements decided by state courts.