A jury awarded $77.8 million to a couple whose baby was left paralyzed, mute and partially blind after he was given an overdose of medicine at one hospital and an overdose of an antidote at another.
Stephen and Mary Blake of Skokie also were awarded $135,000 in past medical expenses for their son, Andrew, now 5.A Cook County Circuit jury returned the decision Thursday against Mead Johnson and Co., a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb; Ravenswood Hospital Medical Center; Children's Memorial Hospital; and Dr. Metta Wongsarnpigoon.
Judge Charles Durham said the award was a record for Illinois.
"We are delighted with the award. It will provide for Andrew's future," said Jerome Mirza, the Blakes' attorney.
"Our lawyers are in the process of reviewing the verdict, and we would not comment while it is under review," Bristol-Myers Squibb said in a statement Friday.
A Children's Memorial statement expressed sympathy for the Blakes, but didn't say whether the hospital would appeal.
The boy is paralyzed from his shoulders to his feet and requires nursing care at least eight hours a day.
The Blakes' lawyers had argued that dosage information Mead Johnson provided for its expectorant Quibron was excessive and outdated and caused Wongsarnpigoon, a pediatrician at Ravenswood, to give Andrew an overdose.
He had been hospitalized at Ravenswood for bronchiolitis and possible asthma in January 1986.
After the overdose, the boy - then 3 months old - started having seizures, lawyers said.
He was transferred to Children's Memorial, where he was given Charcoaid, a prepacked mixture of charcoal and the anti-poison drug sorbitol.
The child received a massive overdose of sorbitol, became dehydrated and suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage, according to testimony in the six-week trial.
The jury found the maker of Charcoaid - Requa Inc. of Greenwich, Conn. - innocent of liability. "We're thrilled that they recognized that the product was safe," Requa attorney Joan Levin said.
She said the company had argued that labeling on the product was printed "exactly per the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration - no more, no less."