Doctors ordered to pay $16M

Published by The Boston Globe, September 25, 1996

A Suffolk County jury yesterday awarded $16 million—one of the largest medical malpractice awards in Massachusetts to date—to a 6-year-old North Weymouth child who suffered profound brain damage during his treatment at Children’s Hospital shortly after birth.

Robert Saluti, the son of a truck driver and a home health aide, has the mental capacity of a 2-3 month old infant, said his attorney, Andrew Meyer. Meyer persuaded the jury that the child’s brain injury was caused by the negligence of Dr. Dennis Lund, a Children’s Hospital surgeon, and Dr. James Rawn, a former Children’s Hospital resident who is now a cardiothoracic fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

"They overdosed this baby with potassium," which precipitated a cardiac arrest, Meyer said after the verdict. "The jury found they failed their responsibilities to this child. "

If the jury award stands, the Saluti case might mark a record for a Massachusetts medical malpractice award. With interest, the amount paid to Gregory and Darlene Saluti, the child’s parents, could total $24 million.

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