Taxpayers on hook for $60.9M cerebral palsy case

Lawyers blame Jacksonville Navy hospital doctors for Kevin Bravo Rodriguez’s severe cerebral palsy (Nov. 12; Nov. 4, 2004; Feb. 2, 2004; Aug. 13, 2003; etc.). He cannot see, speak, swallow, or move his arms and legs, and will not live past age 21. Modern technology saved Bravo Rodriguez’s life after he was born without a heart-rate or respiration, and keeps him alive with 24-hour care that was adjudged to cost $10 million over the course of short life. The verdict included $50 million in pain and suffering. Because this was a Federal Tort Claims Act case, a judge was the finder of fact, and Carter-appointee Senior District Judge Jose A. Gonzalez can be credited with the largest FTCA verdict in history, which (including the millions in jackpot attorneys’ fees) will come out of taxpayers’ pockets unless it is reversed on the government’s promised appeal. (Nikki Waller and Noaki Schwartz, “A bittersweet $60.9 million”, Miami Herald, Nov. 25). This is attorney Ervin Gonzalez’s second appearance in Overlawyered this year for a $60 million+ verdict—see July 10.


  • This case will have an impact on the enthusiasm with which high risk deliveries are resuscitated. Dead, he would be worth, what?

  • And some for tort reform call for taking away Med-mal cases from juries?

  • Pain and suffering is priceless and the only thing that all Americans have in common. Putting a cap on it is wrong. How many people would subject their child to severe brain damage and a life of special care in exchange for $60 Million? None – except for those who do not value life. The Government should focus more on preventing medical malpractice rather than preventing the victims from collecting for their pain & suffering

  • Hey JB Gonzalez – question for you:
    What is brain damage and special care for life worth then? 60 million? 60 billion? 60 trillion? 60 jillion? It’s ludicriuos to try to put a price on something like this. But there has to be some kind of limit because otherwise all our tax dollars would go toward making one family (and their lawyer) rich instead of going toward helping everyone. If you valued life, you would also think about the people who lose benefits or care when the govt has to pay these huge sums. The money has to come from somewhere; it doesn’t just grow out of the ground.