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Amount: $500,000
Court: Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Plaintiff's Counsel: William S. Jacobson

Pediatrician Pays $500,000 for Failure to Recognize Dehydration in Child

This case was tried to a jury which was hung on the issue of proximate cause. Plaintiff had taken her 11 week old son to see the defendant pediatrician on a week day morning with a few day history of vomiting and diarrhea. The physician examined the child and instructed the mother to return in three days if the child did not improve. He failed to give the mother any instructions regarding the signs and symptoms of dehydration. The following evening, the parents went out thinking that nothing serious was occurring and left the child with a 14 year old babysitter. When they returned the child had died of dehydration. The jury determined that the defendant was negligent in failing to instruct the mother on the signs and symptoms of dehydration but could not agree on proximate cause. The defendant had argued and presented the testimony of a pediatric pathologist to the effect that the death was not caused by dehydration.

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