Jury orders OHSU to pay Oregon family $12M

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by KGW Staff and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM

PORTLAND -- A jury in Portland, Ore., says a hospital should pay a Klamath Falls family $12 million after doctors botched a liver operation on a 9-month-old boy in 2009.

Tyson Horton had to undergo an emergency liver transplant and racked up multimillion-dollar medical bills. He's now 4. 

Despite the jury's award on Thursday,  first reported by the Oregonian, it's not clear how much Oregon Health & Science University Hospital will ultimately pay. The newspaper says the hospital admitted its doctors were negligent.

Still, the verdict exceeds the hospital's $3 million cap under the Oregon Tort Claims Act, which limits how much OHSU and other public entities must pay for employees' negligence causing personal injury or death.

The hospital says it has already voluntarily paid the Horton family $3 million.

OHSU's Jodi Coombs said in a statement that lawmakers chose that amount as "an appropriate balance" between limited budgets and "ensuring that those who seek to obtain damages are treated fairly."

The case is considered likely to reach the Oregon Supreme Court.

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