Portland, Oregon


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Hospital Liability Cap Overruled in Medical Malpractice Case

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Though a state law limits jury awards against public agencies to $200,000, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on July 5 that the family of a brain-damaged child could sue for millions of dollars. The family of Jordaan Michael Clarke sued Oregon Health & Science University for more than $17 million alleging their boy suffered permanent brain damage in 1998 due to medical malpractice while a patient at the OHSU Hospital.

The Court of Appeals said that while the liability cap law protects public agencies, it does not protect their employees. Since the state law also requires these agencies to pay awards against their employees, this eliminates the cap.

“We hope this means that someday we will have the resources to take care of Jordaan the way he deserves to be cared for,” said Eva Diseth, Jordaan’s grandmother and one of his primary caregivers.