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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Carmen and Antonio Lebron sued the United States individually and as next friends of their daughter, Karina, under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. �� 1346(b), 2671 et seq., for damages suffered as a result of an Army doctor’s medical malpractice at Fort Hood, Texas. The doctor’s negligent delivery of Karina left her with severe, permanent brain damage. The Government admitted liability but contested damages. After a bench trial, the district court awarded the plaintiffs $32,676,410 in all: $20,647,488 for Karina; $4,320,000 each to Carmen and Antonio for medical and attendant care for Karina until her age of majority; an additional $1,783,156 to Carmen; and an additional $1,605,766 to Antonio.*fn2 The court also awarded the plaintiffs costs, including fees for services rendered by Karina Lebron’s guardian ad litem (GAL).

The Government appeals on three grounds, contending (1) that the “maximum recovery rule” requires a reduction of $9.4 million in certain intangible damages awarded to the three plaintiffs; (2) that because the $20.6 million in damages awarded to Karina exceeds the $20 million specified in the amended administrative claim that the Lebrons filed on her behalf, the $20.6 million should be reduced to $20 million; and (3) that the cost of certain legal services provided by the GAL, who is an attorney, should have been deducted from Karina’s recovery and should not have been taxed as costs to be paid by the Government. The Government does not contest any other damages awards.

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