The Story of Libby Hagan
The Best Settlement for the Worst Circumstances
On June 13, 2014, 26-year-old Kathryn Hagan was 39 weeks pregnant with her first child, and she and husband, Lane, were eagerly anticipating the start of their family. However, when Kathryn gave birth to a baby girl named Libby on June 14, Libby was suffering from multi-organ complications and respiratory distress. Consequently, she was transferred to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), where critical care specialists devised a treatment plan for Libby that was to include — among other things — 0.6 units of insulin three times per day.
On June 26, just shortly after midnight, insulin was ordered, approved, and delivered from the pharmacy to the NICU for Libby — just as had been done 35 times before. As usual, the order called for 0.6 units of NICU insulin, but due to egregious negligence, 300 units of adult insulin were delivered, and 60 units were administered to Libby. This was a medication error of 100 times the amount of insulin prescribed for the baby.
As a result, Libby suffered severe, persistent hypoglycemia for many hours, and her brain and central nervous system were catastrophically impacted. Tragically, Libby would not only be a spastic quadriplegic, but she would also be visually impaired. Lane says, “This pretty much crushed every dream we had ever had for our child.” After that, both he and Kathryn felt the hospital was anxious to discharge Libby and send her home. He adds, “The hospital never prepared us for anything, nor did they offer any kind of help. It was as if they were saying, ‘You just need to go home and love your baby, because she is going to die.’” It was at that point that Kathryn and Lane made the decision to hold the hospital accountable. Now, they needed to find a law firm that had the expertise, tenacity, and reputation to take them on.
Most of Hare Wynn’s cases come by referral from other attorneys, and this case was no different. A good friend of Kathryn’s father was a lawyer, and he strongly urged Kathryn and Lane to consult with Leon Ashford and Jamie Moncus at Hare Wynn. Lane remembers their first meeting with the legal team who would end up representing their family: “When we met Leon and Jamie, we expected these rough, tough, hardened lawyers, and what we got was the exact opposite. They were both so kind and compassionate, and it was such a different experience from what we were expecting. They told us they were willing to take the case and that they didn’t know how the hospital could defend the actions of its employees. They did, however, believe the hospital would try to settle it immediately with a low-ball offer, but they told us: ‘We are not going to let that happen. That would not do you justice. That would not do Libby justice. We are going to prepare this case for trial and, if the hospital wants to do the right thing before the jury does, we’ll take care of you with a settlement that gives Libby the quality of life she deserves.’”
Hare Wynn got the world’s best experts involved in the case and fully prepared it to go to trial. Lane says that the case went on for about two years, but he and Kathryn were always kept up to date as to how things were proceeding, and they never worried because they felt like everything was in very capable hands. As the case neared the trial date, there were two attempts to mediate, but both failed because the Hagan’s legal team would not even consider an offer that was not adequate to fully and properly take care of Libby for the rest of her life and fully provide for both Kathryn and Lane. After further negotiations, both parties were able to finally agree on a settlement, which did just that — it took care of the Hagan family. For the first time since the birth of Libby, Kathryn and Lane felt a considerable amount of relief, peace, and gratitude as they would now be in a position to take care of Libby for the rest of her life despite whatever circumstances might arise.
Lane says that he and his wife deeply appreciated how Hare Wynn treated them like family. He explains, “I just can’t say enough as to how they rallied around us. Leon, Jamie, and their team said that they would take care of us, and they very literally did. It was incredible. We really and truly felt like family from the first meeting with Leon in our living room. That never changed. This is the thing that will forever stay with us. I would recommend Hare Wynn to anyone and everyone, and if we had to do it again — God help us — I would pick them 100 times over. We still communicate with them. They are our family now, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”