Judge Upholds $27 Million Malpractice Award

September 21, 2000

A Superior Court judge today upheld a $27 million jury award for a New York man who sued Yale University following a botched heart operation.

In a 36-page ruling, Judge Jon Blue said the "jury's award of $27 million in damages, while anecdotally the highest personal injury award in Connecticut legal history, is fair but not extravagant."

Billy Jacobs, now 30, was left legally blind, paralyzed and unable to speak as a result of the surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was admitted following an automobile accident and subsequent fevers.

During the jury trial, Jacobs' lawyer, Atty. Michael P. Koskoff, alleged that the surgery was unnecessary, the result of a flawed and inaccurate diagnosis. In addition, he told the jury that during surgery, two clamps were negligently and improperly applied to Jacobs' aorta causing it to swell and burst.

Jacobs then suffered cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage. Koskoff said the award would help the Jacobs family care for Billy in their home with the proper medical equipment, treatment and attendants.