A state appeals court on Wednesday upheld a $12.6 million jury award to the family of a girl whose gangrenous limbs were amputated after she was injected with a stale vaccine.
In 1998, the mother of Shaniah Rolle, 2, took her to the pediatric department at the University of Miami’s medical school for a shot to prevent pneumococcal disease, to which she was susceptible.
The dose she received had expired, and she contracted the disease. It caused clots in her arms and legs that led to gangrene and amputation.
At trial the defendants were the University of Miami, four doctors and the estate of a fifth. The defendants asserted that while the vaccine had expired, it would not have stopped the particular strain of bacteria the girl contracted.
The mother was partially at fault because she didn’t properly administer penicillin as a backup for the vaccine, they argued.
After 53 witnesses testified, the jury awarded $12.6 million and found the mother 40 percent at fault in January 2012. Jurors determined the university and one of the physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Brosco, were liable.
Sheldon Schlesinger, Crane Johnstone, Michael Solomon and Philip Burlington represented the Rolles in the Third District Court of Appeal. Attorneys for the appellants were June Galkoski Hoffman and Christopher Knight of Fowler White Burnett.