Naomi Pressey was born on February 6, 2008 at which time her doctors found a structural problem with her heart that required surgery. She was transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado for the operation that was scheduled for February 10th. But the routine procedure quickly turned into a tragedy because of the alleged negligence of the attending pediatric anesthesiologist who administered the wrong dosage of prostaglandin. The mistake sent Pressey into cardiac arrest. Doctors could not resuscitate her for 33 minutes, causing her to suffer from brain damage and cerebral palsy.
After a two-week trial in March 2015, a Colorado jury found in favor of the Pressey family. They were initially awarded $17.8 million in damages, which was quickly reduced to $14.3 million, but far exceeded the $1 million cap instituted by Colorado’s legislature. The Children’s Hospital that was found negligent appealed the ruling, but the Court of Appeals denied their claim. The court did, however, reduce the $14.3 million to $11.9 million, but again backed the decision that it was appropriate to exceed the $1 million cap because Pressey will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
The Pressey family was excited to get through the appeals process and eager to collect on the damages that could significantly increase their child’s quality of life who is now 9-years-old. But at that time the hospital’s insurance company, Lexington Insurance Co., refused to payout the judgement. Lexington, a subsidiary of AIG, claimed that the hospital did not notify them of the case with enough time for them to adequately defend themselves. But after hearing the case last month, a federal judge found in favor of Children’s Hospital Colorado and once again upheld the $11.9 million that will now be paid out by Lexington Insurance Co.
“No family should have to go through what we’ve had to endure,” said Jennifer Pressey, Naomi’s mother.