Feds Must Pay $16M Verdict Over IHS-Caused Brain Damage

Law360 (July 27, 2020, 6:47 PM EDT) -- A New Mexico federal court ruled Monday that the federal government owes nearly $16 million to the family of a young Navajo girl in a medical malpractice suit against the Indian Health Service.

The 10-year-old girl, referred to as "N.E.D." in court papers, fell from playground equipment in Gallup, New Mexico, in February 2016 and struck her head, court records show. Her father, Jacob Dotson, brought her to the IHS-run Gallup Indian Medical Center, where staff "incorrectly intubated" her, causing anoxic brain injury, according to U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Richard K. Eaton sitting by designation.

"Although she has made...

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