Unable to walk or talk, 8-year-old Aidan Leung may be headed to a precedent-setting case before the California Supreme Court that centers on a lawsuit in which his family won an estimated $96-million judgment against Verdugo Hills Hospital for negligence shortly after he was born.
[Correction appended. See below for details.]
An appellate court wiped out that verdict on March 23, reducing the hospital’s liability to about $100,000. But in an unusual step, the justices asked the Supreme Court to reverse their ruling and “repudiate” a decades-old legal maxim, called the release rule.
The California Supreme Court agrees to take up only a handful of the thousands of cases it is asked to consider each year.
“Ordinarily it’s a long shot,” said Stuart Esner, one of Aidan’s attorneys. “But given what the [appellate] court said about it, I think we have a pretty good shot.”
The case stems from Aidan’s birth at Verdugo Hills Hospital on March 24, 2003, a Wednesday. Nancy Leung, who worked in marketing at Nestle’s North American headquarters on Brand Boulevard, gave birth to Aidan roughly three weeks early.