Dr. Chan

Dr. John Chan during an interview March 17, 2017, at the Regional Intensive Care Nursery at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

The $47 million verdict awarded Thursday to the family of a Texas girl who sustained lasting scalp injuries after she was born at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in 2012 included $43,750,000 in “past and future non-economic damages,” according to a copy of the jury verdict slip obtained by The Tribune-Democrat.

Among those non-economic damages were “pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of ability to enjoy the pleasure of life and disfigurement,” according to the verdict slip.

The sum also included a total of around $3.28 million in future medical expenses, broken down by year from 2018 to 2095.

Jurors made the award following a three-day civil trial during which Judge Kim R. Gibson ruled that neonatal physician John Chan was negligent when he wrapped a bandage around the girl’s swollen head shortly after she was born, leaving her scarred and partially bald.

It was the largest medical malpractice award in the history of the Johnstown region of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The previous largest award, $14.5 million, was awarded in 2016 to the family of a child who was born with cerebral palsy and other disabilities caused by a doctor’s use of a drug that blocked the child from receiving oxygen during labor.

Attorneys indicated that Thursday’s award may be the largest malpractice award ever made in any of Pennsylvania’s federal courts.

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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