Tulsa Couple Hopes Court Ruling Will Help Get Justice For Son
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa couple hopes a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court this week will help them get justice for their baby. The family said their son nearly died because of negligence, so they filed a lawsuit.
This week's ruling no longer limits how much money people can collect for physical and mental suffering after an injury.
Related Story: Oklahoma Supreme Court Invalidates Civil Justice Damages Cap
Zack Ellexson and Megan Tinsley's son, Maddyx, was born in July of 2017. When he was two days old, they said he overdosed through his nutrition bag at St. Francis Hospital.
"It was not hooked up properly, so therefore, the nutrition bag that had several different medications in it overflowed his body," Tinsley said.
She said her son lost a lot of blood and had a massive brain hemhorrage, so a shunt in his brain helps remove fluids, something he'll live with the rest of his life.
"This is something that never should've happened to Maddyx, and he has to live the rest of his life with this," Tinsley said. "So he needs to be taken care of in a way that he deserves."
The family is suing the hospital and said they're relieved there's no longer a $350,000 cap on what they can receive for non-economic damages. This means anything from physical pain to mental anguish. A jury will now decide how much money that's worth.
"It provides them a sense of security that if this case goes to trial, their son's damages, their pain, and suffering, what he's going to face for the rest of his life, is going to be decided by the 12 people who actually hear the evidence," attorney Monty Lair said.
Dr. Larry Bookman with the Oklahoma State Medical Association sees things differently. He argued the state supreme court decision seriously hampers the medical community.
"It's basically set us back a decade," he said. "This will hamper our ability to recruit doctors, to have doctors stay in Oklahoma."
Dr. Bookman said OSMA will work with state legislators to hopefully reverse this decision.
St. Francis Hospital declined to comment, saying they can't comment on pending litigation.