Court won't overturn malpractice verdict

PONTIAC (AP) - The Michigan appeals court has upheld a $144 million verdict in the 1995 birth of a suburban Detroit girl who can't walk or talk and requires full-time care.

In a 3-0 decision, the court says the trial in Oakland County was "far from perfect." But it found no grounds to upset the malpractice verdict in favor of Markell VanSlembrouck, who's now 18.

Experts who testified for VanSlembrouck said a traumatic birth at Beaumont Hospital caused her disabilities. But defense experts blamed genetic abnormalities. They noted that she was missing a portion of her cerebellum, among other problems.

The appeals court says some of Geoffrey Fieger's final remarks to jurors were inflammatory but didn't spoil the verdict.

The decision by judges Elizabeth Gleicher, Stephen Borrello and Deborah Servitto was released Wednesday.

Published: Fri, Oct 31, 2014