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Family Wins Heart-Surgery Lawsuit

May 23, 1999

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The family of a 7-year-old Oregon boy left blind, mute and paralyzed after a heart operation six years ago has won a $15.2 million malpractice suit.

A jury agreed Friday that a botched operation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia caused permanent brain damage in Alec Sears.

The boy’s parents, Mark and Vicki Sears, sued the hospital, surgeon Dr. Marshall L. Jacobs and a hospital technician, contending Jacob’s team cooled their son’s temperature too rapidly before the May 1993 operation, causing permanent neurological damage.

The child, born with a heart defect, was 18 months old at the time.

The jury assigned Jacobs the majority of blame for the boy’s injuries, while the hospital and technician were held less responsible.

Hospital attorney Allan H. Starr said he planned to appeal.

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