An $8.5 million jury verdict seems high, doesn’t it?  But if you consider that the injured party was an infant who suffered brain damage (and will require lifelong care), then the amount of damages could be perfectly reasonable. 

According to a recent article by Tom Feran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas jury has ordered MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland to pay $8.5 million to the mother of a child who suffered permanent brain injury at birth several years ago.  While the hospital contended that a placental infection caused the problem, the jury found the hospital to be negligent.  I have no idea if imposing liability on the hospital in this particular case is justified or not.  But I do know that medical and other expenses for an injured party can cost many millions of dollars.  If you are found to be negligent in providing professional services, or in a business activity, or say in an auto accident, you could become responsible for an enormous amount of damages.

While I firmly believe that all individuals and businesses should carry adequate insurance, it is also reasonable to take advantage of laws that allow you to protect your assets.  It is always possible that you could face a judgment in excess of insurance limits – or for something that is not covered by insurance.