WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida appeals court has ruled in favor of Broward County hospital in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a 2016 ruling that awarded more than $4 million in damages to the family of Patricia Belzi, a 24-year-old Coral Springs woman who died in November 2014 while in the care of two doctors who worked out of Plantation General Hospital.
According to court documents, the arbitration panel, "erred in awarding economic damages for the loss of companionship and guidance to the husband and child" of Belzi.
Belzi, who was married to Bernard Belzi was eight months pregnant with the couple's first child when she died at Plantation General Hospital while under the care of Dr. Andrew Agbi, according to court documents. The family alleged medical negligence and instituted a wrongful death action against both the hospital and the medical professionals who were caring for Belzi. The arbitration panel awarded $4,010,314 in losses to Belzi's estate at the time.
On April 4, however, the appeal court, reversed the award of economic damages for loss of companionship and guidance, deeming them, "non-economic damages covered by the statutory limitation on such damages." The court also reversed the award for lost support, "because of the introduction of inadmissible hearsay state of mind evidence." The courts did, however, uphold the loss of support ruling awarded in the claim.
Under the new ruling, Belzi's estate will receive $3,730,976.28.