Former military family gets $30M in damages in Tripler Medical Center malpractice case

Federal judge awards $30M to former military family in Tripler Army Medical Center malpractice
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:26 PM HST|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 10:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A federal judge in Hawaii has warded record damages in a significant malpractice lawsuit against Tripler Army Medical Center.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright awarded $30 million in damages on Monday to a former military family in an incident at the hospital that happened more than six years ago.

In 2016, the Warren family took their one-month-old baby to Tripler in critical condition.

The family’s lawyers say she needed immediate life-saving surgery for twisted intestines, but did not get it until 19 hours later at Kapiolani Medical Center.

“The Tripler doctors watched this child die. They watched her small intestine die,” said Loretta Sheehan, an attorney at Davis Levin Livingston representing the family.

“They didn’t know what was wrong because they didn’t run the test. And over 19 hours, her small intestine could have been saved.”

It’s not the first time the federal government has had to pay for malpractice at Tripler Army Medical Center.

In the last 10 years, there have been nearly $100 million in settlements and legal damages.

Tripler Army Medical Center settlements and legal damages
Tripler Army Medical Center settlements and legal damages(KGMB KHNL)

In this most recent case, the Warrens’ lawyers argued the 19-hour delay resulted in the child having to get nutrients through a feeding tube ever since.

“The only way that she can survive is receiving nutrition and fluids is with tubes through her body,” said Sheehan.

The girl’s father, John Warren, served in Afghanistan for a year in 2013.

“When I signed my contract, it was to protect and serve, and that’s what I did, and when it came time for them to do it, they didn’t,” said Warren.

The Warren’s daughter is now 6; her family lives on the continental U.S. and says the $30 million will be used to pay for her lifelong medical expenses.

Tripler Army Medical Center, in a statement to HNN, says it is referring questions on this particular case to the justice department but says they’re committed to providing quality healthcare to the community.

The federal government has 60 days to appeal the case.