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Stephen Bulzomi John Christensen Jeremy Johnston James McCormick Gemma Zanowski

Judge Awards $12 Million Verdict against Hospital

For Immediate Release – June 19, 2019

Judge awards $12 million verdict against hospital for burning baby’s face

TACOMA, WA – A judge awarded parents a $12 million verdict today against a hospital after finding doctors at Madigan Army Medical Center negligent when they severely burned a baby’s face during surgery. The baby was just 13 months old at the time of the surgery.

“These parents entrusted their baby to the care of doctors who were grossly negligent and put their baby’s life at risk,” said Jeremy Johnston, an attorney with Evergreen Personal Injury Counseling representing the family. “This child is forever disfigured and will endure a lifelong journey of future physical and emotional trauma from his injuries. His parents are devastated. We are grateful the family got justice for their baby today.”

The baby’s young parents, Tyler Porter and Armani Saunders, were living near Joint Base Lewis-McChord where the baby’s father Tyler was stationed. Their baby was being treated at Madigan for a benign cyst when the baby underwent surgery at Madigan on Sept. 2, 2015. During surgery, Madigan physicians failed to properly secure an electrocautery device which ignited a fire on the baby’s face.

The baby was airlifted from Madigan to Harborview Hospital in critical condition, with third and second degree burns to approximately 50 percent of his face. At Harborview, the baby was chemically paralyzed while he was treated for his burns and critical condition. The baby underwent multiple skin graft operations and burn treatments while under severe medication to manage his pain.

“This child will require lifelong treatment and care from his traumatic injuries,” said Gemma Zanowski, another lead attorney on the case. “This verdict will help ensure he receives the care he will need for the rest of his life.”

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