08/17/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Los Angeles County, CA—A $5.5 million medical malpractice settlement over a Redondo Beach cheerleader’s irreversible injuries was expected to be finalized by Los Angeles County officials Tuesday, August 17, 2010. The settlement is the largest of its kind in Los Angeles County history, according to information provided by the Contra Costa Times.
Reports indicated 15-year-old Elizabeth Nicks suffered serious injuries when she fell during a cheerleading stunt at Aviation Park on August 30, 2007. Nicks was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and diagnosed with a fairly small subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma constitutes bleeding of the brain.
Nicks was kept at the hospital for five days so medical professionals could keep a watchful eye on her. However, according to an attorney representing Nicks’ family, “Over the course of her stay from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, she developed signs that indicated her subdural hematoma had increased in size throughout her hospitalization.”
Since doctors seemingly failed to notice her worsening condition, she was released after the five days of observation. “Harbor-UCLA chose not to perform a CT scan upon discharge. If they had, they would have seen the hematoma had grown in size and would have operated,” the family’s medical malpractice lawyer alleged.
On the morning of September 5, Nicks was found unresponsive and subsequently rushed back to Harbor-UCLA. Doctors then determined the young teen suffered “massive brain damage, retardation and paralysis,” the medical malpractice lawsuit adds. She remained hospitalized for approximately five weeks.
As part of the settlement, the Los Angeles County will admit no fault for the cheerleader’s injuries. However, the Nicks’ will receive a lump sum of $2.45 million, as well as $3.05 million that will be administered on a monthly basis. Such funds will provide for Elizabeth Nicks’ past and future medical expenses. Nicks’ parents, Gerry and Laddie Nicks, will also receive monetary damages amounting to $250,000.
According to the county’s attorney, “This is obviously a very terrible situation… We are pleased to have come to a mutual agreement and put this matter behind us.”
Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for California Medical Malpractice Lawyers.
Phone: (866) 598-1315