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Disabled Boy Gets $30 Million

May 25, 2004 | The Plain Dealer

A Cuyahoga County jury sympathized with a brain-damaged 17-year-old boy Monday and slammed a doctor and hospital with a $30 million medical malpractice verdict the largest ever awarded in the county.

Walter Hollins of Cleveland, who has the mental capacity of a 1-year-old, clapped when the verdict was announced, but couldn't comprehend the historic event unfolding in Judge Robert Lawther's courtroom.

Walter's mother, Regina Harris, could not suppress her appreciation as she hugged one of her lawyers and gushed to the jury, "Oh my God, thank you. Oh my God."

The panel of four men and four women decided 6-2 that Dr. Ronald Jordan and the medical staff at the now-defunct Mt. Sinai Medical Center were negligent at the boy's birth Jan. 29, 1987. Witnesses testified that Harris waited for more than two hours to receive an emergency Caesarean section, during which time the flow of oxygen was cut off to Walter's brain.

The majority of jurors found that the doctor and hospital staff shared responsibility for Walter's injuries, which include cerebral palsy and no use of his arms or legs. His condition is incurable.


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