Florida Attorney Explains How Much The Lawyers In The Maya Kowalski Trial Will Be Paid & Why They Deserve Every Penny

The Kowalski family has finally achieved justice after fighting for years.

lawyers presenting case in courtroom Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

On November 9, 2023, a jury found the Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital located in Florida liable in the wrongful death of Maya Kowalski's mother, Beata, who died by suicide and whose entire ordeal was included in the Netflix documentary "Take Care of Maya."

According to Insider, in October 2016, when a young Maya was admitted to JHACH in pain, she had already received a rare diagnosis, the pain disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). At the time, hospital staff thought Beata's insistence that her daughter be treated with high doses of ketamine was odd, and eventually got a doctor to accuse her of child abuse.


Maya was separated from her mother and placed in the custody of the state of Florida and kept at the hospital against her will.

Beata, who was frustrated with the hospital's diagnosis and believed that her daughter would be released from the hospital if she were not a factor, died by suicide in January 2017 at the age of 43.

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A Florida attorney has revealed how much the lawyers in the Maya Kowalski trial will be paid.

In a TikTok video, Shannon Schott, a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, Florida explained to viewers how much Kowalski's attorneys will be making now that the jury reached a decision and sided with the Kowalski family.

Jack Kowalski, Maya's father, had filed a lawsuit on behalf of himself, Maya, and his son Kyle Kowalski in 2018. The lawsuit accused the hospital of false imprisonment, battery, medical negligence, fraudulent billing, infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful death.

"Let me preface this by saying that when attorneys take a person under case, they work on what's called a contingency fee, meaning they only get paid if they recover," Schott explained. "In a case like Maya Kowalski, there were no offers. The Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital was not willing to settle."



Schott explained that Kowalski's attorneys had to fight for justice for the family for years. She pointed out that their pay now that the trial is over is based on percentages approved by the Florida Bar.


"Under Florida law, it's 40% of the first million, 33.33% of the second million, and then 20% of anything over three million for each claimant," Schott said. In the Kowalski case, since there was Maya, Jack, Kyle, and the estate, the attorneys will make approximately $22 million.

"For Kyle, they will make $4.3 million, for Jack, they will make about $15.3 million, and for the estate, they will make about a million dollars. The total comes out to $42.9, almost $43 million." 

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Schott explained why the Kowalski's attorneys deserve every penny.

"This was a really tough case, and one that I don't think many attorneys would have taken," Schott pointed out. "Kudos to the attorneys who did this. They are local to Jacksonville, and they really did fight hard for this family."


Schott commended the attorneys for taking what the jury said and finding Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital responsible for every single line in the verdict and providing justice for not only Maya, Kyle, and Jack, but also Beata.

According to FOX13, after the eight long weeks of the trial, jurors awarded the Kowalski family $211,451,174 in compensatory damages. The jury decided that the family would also receive an additional $50,000,000 in punitive damages for false imprisonment and false imprisonment with battery. 

In total, the Kowalski family was awarded more than $261 million. Those seven claims that the jury decided on included false imprisonment, battery, medical negligence, fraudulent billing, survivor claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (Estate of Beata Kowalski), wrongful death claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress causing death, and Maya Kowalski’s claim for infliction of emotional distress.

"To me, it was about the answer — knowing that my mom was right. I want people to know that she wasn’t harming me at all," Maya told FOX13. "I mean, for the first time, I feel like I got justice."


If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, help is available. Please call or text the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.