WHY WE NEED A STRONG CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Severely disabled at birth due to medical negligence, Martin lived as a quadriplegic. His movements were limited to turning his head slightly in each direction, moving his arms a few inches in a sweeping manner, and lifting his right leg a few inches. He was unable to walk or talk. Martin passed away in 2010 at the age of 14.
“There are some people who think that settling a medical malpractice lawsuit or receiving a jury award is comparable to winning the lottery. They obviously have no concept of the suffering my son went through,” said his mother, Donna Harnett.
“We lived in a first floor apartment. Every day, I’d carry my son up and down a flight of stairs in my arms to his wheelchair. He weighed 60 pounds. The bathroom was small and my son couldn’t fit in the bathtub, because I could barely bend his legs. Every day, I was amazed I could lift him up and over the edge of the tub while on my knees.
“We moved to another home that cost approximately $100,000 to make the first floor accessible for Martin – and that didn’t include the purchase price of the home.
“The money to buy the home and make it accessible came from the settlement.
“Without that money, I would have been forced to think about the possibility of sending my son to an institution where he would grow up in the company of strangers. The settlement made it possible for my son to stay at home with his siblings and myself, who loved him very much.
“I would give it all back if I could just have had my son as he should have been.”
For Martin’s full story, click here.