$33.8 Million Medical Malpractice Awarded to Miami Gardens Family


$33.8 million in medical malpractice awarded to Miami Gardens family will be paid by the federal government. A judge ruled on Monday that a decision made by a federally employed doctor cause a young mother’s baby boy to suffer unnecceraingly resulting in brain damage.

Marla Dixon and Earl Reese- Thorton the baby’s parents were awarded $3.3 million  by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola. They were also awarded $1.1 million for pain and suffering. Judge Scola awarded $21.7 in economic damages and $7.6 million for the boy’s pain and suffering.

A on-call physician by the name Dr. Ata Atogho was working the government funded community center which provides service to uninsured and undocumented patients.

Dixon while at the North Shore Medical center has been treated by an experienced labor and delivery nurse named Yolanda McCray. During the case McCray testified that the claims made by Atogho’s were false. She stated he did not offer Dixon a cesarean section in which Dixon declined.

In a testify by both McCRay and Reese- Thorton they stated Dixon the soon to be young mother yelling, “Just cut me!”

McCray recalls the baby’s slowed heart rate and Atogho ignoring her request leaving Dixon for another patients delivery. Another claim was that Atogho had been seen on his phone with his financial advisor. On Dec. 2, 2013 when the baby was born he was not breathing and unresponsive.

“At the anticipated, joyful moment of birth of a crying, bouncing baby, they are instead presented with the dreadful specter of a blue, floppy, lifeless child,” according to Scola’s order.

The pregnancy was not high risk. Due to lack of oxygen when the newborn was revived he suffered brain damage. A C-section could have prevented the baby’s brain damaged agreed the defense and the plaintiffs.

“The court has considered all the evidence in the case, including the testimony of the defendant’s life expectancy expert, who has opined [the 3-year-old boy] has a life expectancy of an additional 9 to 12 years,” said Scola.

The government will have to pay the award in recurring payments since Florida does not have a statutory cap they did not restrict the award.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami represented the federal Governments defense led by Charles White. Two of Miami law firms: Vidian Mallard and Richard Sharp of Mallard & Sharp and Lauri Ross of Ross & Girten represented the Family.


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