In what is believed to be the largest personal injury lawsuit verdict in the history of the Capital Region, a state Supreme Court jury in Saratoga County awarded $43.5 million to a woman who sued the Bellevue Maternity Hospital in Niskayuna for severe brain damage she suffered during her birth in 1984.
Tiffany Busone, 24, of Schoharie County, sued the hospital for malpractice, arguing she suffered cerebral palsy as a result of a lack of oxygen and a failure to properly resuscitate her during her birth on July 15, 1984.
While Busone has above-average intelligence and earned a degree from Arizona State University, she uses a wheelchair and lacks motor skills due to the brain damage, the sources said.
The lawsuit, initially filed by the woman’s mother, J. Tracy Busone, dates to 1984 when the family lived in Saratoga County.
The six-member jury of three men and three women unanimously handed up the verdict in a trial before state Supreme Court Justice.
The payments break down into $20 million to pay for home health aides, another $15 million for future pain and suffering, $6 million for past pain and suffering and the balance for medical expenses and loss of earnings, the law firm said.
Busone will always require the use of a wheelchair, care of home health aides and medical equipment and will never be able to work to support herself financially, according to her attorneys.
Bellevue Maternity Hospital, now know as Bellevue Woman’s Center, is part of Ellis Medicine, the Schenectady hospital system that runs Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
Sources close to the case said the former hospital was willing to agree to a “high-low” agreement in which it would pay $2 million maximum, if it lost the case — or, if it prevailed, as little as $300,000.
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