Jury awards family of injured boy $2.3 million

May 14, 2019 GMT

STERLING – In a medical malpractice trial that lasted 9 days, a jury Monday evening returned a verdict of more than $2 million to a then-2-year-old child injured at Morrison Community Hospital in 2011

It took the Whiteside County jurors less than 2 hours to render the all-time record-high verdict, Jim Mertes, attorney for parents Gary and Beth Milnes of Morrison, said in a news release.

The previous record was a $1.3 million verdict in 2001, Mertes said. Damages and other considerations in this case totaled $2,021,650.59, well over $700,000 more.

The defendants were Dr. Zewdu Haile, Dr. Duncan Dinkha, Acute Care Inc. and Morrison Community Hospital District.


Ryder Milnes was injured in a fall down the stairs in November 2011. Haile applied a wrap on his wrist that was too tight, cutting off circulation to the arm, hand and wrist.

Dinkha failed to remove that wrap when the toddler was brought back to the MCH emergency room.

The incident caused permanent injuries.

Haile now is practicing at the Hinsdale Family Medicine Center, while Dinkha is the medical director and an acute care physician at MCH’s Family Care Clinic.

Hospital officials could not be reached after hours for comment.

“We are grateful to the jurors for the time and attention they devoted to this important case,” Mertes said in the release.

“This record verdict sends a powerful message. The hospital may not have heard the child, but it sure heard the jury.”