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Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony quantifying the present cash value of economic damages.

Location: Baltimore, MD

Case: Enzo Martinez, et al. v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, et al.

Court: Circuit Court for Baltimore City – Civil System,
Case No. 24C11001081

Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Gary A. Wais, H. Briggs Bedigian and Keith D. Forman of Wais, Vogelstein & Bedigian, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland.

Judge: The Honorable Marcus Z. Shar.

Case Synopsis: On March 26, 2010, plaintiff Enzo Martinez was delivered via Caesarean Section at Johns Hopkins hospital while under the care of three obstetrical and gynecological doctors. Rebecca Fielding wanted to deliver her baby at home with the help of a midwife. After 14 hours of labor, complications began and when the birth progression stopped, an ambulance was called. Although the ambulance was called at 2:36 a.m., Fielding did not arrive at the hospital until 3:28 a.m. An urgent C-section was ordered soon after Fielding’s arrival, but was not performed for nearly two more hours.

Enzo Martinez was born with permanent brain damage,
multiple physical and mental disabilities and cerebral
palsy. He will require 24-hour aid and attendant care, in
addition to intense physical and occupation therapies for
the rest of his life. Plaintiffs’ counsel noted that he will
never walk or talk.

The parents contend that their child’s cerebral palsy and seizure disorder was caused by a loss of oxygen to the brain while Fielding waited for the Caesarean section. The attorneys said their experts told jurors standards of care were not followed. The C-section should have happened within 30 to 45 minutes after the mother arrived at the hospital.

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Expert Testimony:
First, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Enzo’s loss of future earning capacity. Second, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Enzo’s future medical expenses. Since Enzo was injured at birth, he had no earnings work history. Consequently, Mr. Johnson looked to his parents’ level of educational attainment to establish a range of potential earning capacity for Enzo. The data would come from the latest Educational Attainment tables provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Mr. Johnson was able to calculate two earning capacity scenarios based on educational attainment of a) a person with an Associate’s degree; and b) an average college graduate. Mr. Johnson also included a national average fringe benefits package for each scenario. These scenarios yielded a present value range of lost earning capacity of $2.1 million to $2.6 million.

Next, Mr. Johnson reviewed the life care planner’s future medical plan. The plan consisted of four different levels of care, home care and facility care and at what ages those care levels commenced. Enzo’s injuries will make him dependent on 24-hour a day care for the rest of his life. Mr. Johnson presented the four future medical expense scenarios, which had a present value range from $13.0 million to $26.3 million.

Result: On June 25, 2012, after a three week trial, the jury deliberated for 11 hours and returned a verdict of $55 million for Enzo. The verdict consisted of $4 million for lost wages, $25 million for future medical expenses and $26 million for non-economic damages.

Attorney’s Comments: According to plaintiffs’ counsel Gary A. Wais, “Mr. Johnson had one of the hardest tasks as an expert in medical malpractice cases. He needed to convince a jury that this profoundly injured child, Enzo, should be compensated millions of dollars in lost earning capacity and future medical expenses. Mr. Johnson provided the jury with reasonable earning capacity scenarios and various ranges of medical care based on different life expectancies. Mr. Johnson explained to the jury that the most conservative approach to the range of potential life expectancies (20 year reduction to normal) was to choose the normal life expectancy so that the child would not run out of money. The jury in the end actually awarded Enzo more than the largest amounts that Mr. Johnson testified to.”