$10 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement
Written by Faith Anderson on October 31, 2011
Toddler’s Illness Worsens as Hospital Staff Looks On
Last November, when Malyia Jeffers was two years old, her parents took her to Sacramento’s Methodist Hospital after she exhibited frightening symptoms like weakness, skin discoloration and fever. Unfortunately, five hours passed before Malyia was actually seen by a doctor, despite the parents’ pleas to hospital staff to see their ailing daughter. “While in the waiting room, Malyia grew sicker and weaker,” according to the complaint filed in Superior Court in Sacramento on February 14.
The hospital told the family to continue waiting as their daughter’s health and strength rapidly decreased. “Ryan Jeffers and Leah Yang saw their daughter get weaker and sicker hour after hour as (hospital workers) chose to delay treatment, the complaint said. “They saw the bruising on her body increase, affecting her legs, arms and face. They were afraid she would die in the waiting room.” Malyia was eventually flown to Sanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, where doctors found that Streptococcus A bacteria had invaded her blood and organs. The doctors there performed the necessary amputations of Malyia’s feet, left hand and part of her right hand.
Malyia and Family Face Life-Long Adverse Consequences
Court documents show that most of the money from the settlement will be placed in a trust for Malyia’s current needs and an annuity that will provide her with $16,932 a month when she turns 18. The monthly payment increases over time, so by the time Malyia turns 30, the monthly payout will be nearly double. Malyia spent more than three months at Stanford before being transferred to another hospital in Sacramento. She is still undergoing therapy and will need expensive medications, custom prosthetics, special garments and wheelchairs for the rest of her life.
According to the complaint, Malyia Jeffers’ family accused the Methodist Hospital of Sacramento of inadequate staffing and negligent operation and supervision of the ER. Although many of Malyia’s medical expenses were covered by insurance, her parents still face hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, a significant financial burden for the family. “Yes, we got a settlement,” Jeffers said. “But all of this has made our lives miserable, and it’s not over.” Although Malyia’s family signed a non-disclosure agreement and could not discuss the case, their attorney Moseley Collins reported that “Malyia has a new set of artificial legs and she’s walking on those. We were pleased to be able to settle the case.”