High court won’t hear appeal of $13.9M Trumbull malpractice verdict


By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

Atty. Martin F. White hopes an Ohio Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday in a Trumbull County medical-malpratice case means the years-long litigation related to a $13.9 million common pleas court judgment for his client is over.

“It’s been a long time and a lot of work, and we hope it’s finally over,” White said.

The Supreme Court said it would not reconsider its decision from Dec. 30, 2015, in which it said it would not hear an appeal of a decision by the Ohio 11th District Court of Appeals. That court upheld a Trumbull County jury’s 2010 decision to award $13.9 million to Haley Cobb of Leavittsburg and her parents.

The girl, then 10, was awarded $12.1 million, and her parents, Okey Jr. and Debra Cobb, were awarded $1.8 million after the jury found fault on the part of Dr. Tara Shipman when she delivered Haley in 2000 at Trumbull Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Edmundo B. Salero of Warren, now deceased, who attempted to resuscitate Haley Cobb just after her birth, and Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where the birth took place, both settled with the family before the 2010 trial.

Haley has cerebral palsy as a result of too little oxygen getting to her brain around the time of her delivery, according to testimony during the trial.

The parents received their portion of the funds from the $6.5 million settlement with the hospital and Dr. Salero, White said. Haley’s $12.1 million award was reduced to $9.7 million by the $6.5 million settlement, he added.

But interest that has accrued since the verdict has increased the amount owed to Haley to between $11.3 million and $11.4 million, minus legal fees.

Dr. Shipman’s insurance company posted a $10.5 million bond shortly after the jury’s verdict and has agreed to pay the judgment, White said.

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