Even before a jury had completed its deliberations, two Tampa, Fla.-area medical practices filed for bankruptcy after they were hit with a $116.7 million malpractice verdict in favor of a quadriplegic who blamed them for his condition.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings — designed to avoid paying what attorneys called the largest medical malpractice award in state history — temporarily halted the trial. But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul Glenn took the unusual action of setting aside the defendants’ petitions so the Hillsborough, Fla., circuit court jury could finish its work.

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