There is no excuse for causing the accidental death of a patient. Any experienced medical malpractice attorney will tell you that medical accidents warrant zero tolerance. A New York man who died as a result of medical malpractice in 2008 is a poster child for medical mistakes.
The victim in the case at hand entered the hospital on June 18, 2008 expecting to undergo a routine gall bladder removal operation. Typical preparation for this type of surgery includes a complete fast with no water or food leading up to the procedure. As per information that he would have surgery the next day, the victim was kept without food and water overnight upon intake.
For an unknown reason, the surgery did not occur on June 19th as planned. The patient received no explanation as to why his surgery was postponed. Instead, the hospital staff kept the victim on a no food and no water regiment for the following two days. During this time, no one told the patient why the surgery had not taken place.
Two additional days passed, and still no surgery, no food, and no water. The patient’s condition deteriorated to the point that his body began to severely malfunction. He contracted systemic sepsis (blood poisoning). On June 22, the victim suffered cardiac arrest. At that time the hospital staff attempted to revive the patient, but an hour later he was pronounced dead.
The cause of death was determined to be failure of proper revival efforts along with the lack of gallbladder removal. At trial, the hospital admitted negligence. Damages of $7,579,560 were awarded to the victim’s family.
Victims of such egregious medical missteps deserve the highest compensation. Medical malpractice cases are often extremely complex. In a basic medical malpractice case, the court needs to consider whether or not the responsible doctors or medical facilities failed to satisfy their standard of care.
‘Standard of care’ is a term used to describe the medical course of treatment that a reasonable doctor would consider appropriate in a given situation. Different courts in various states define this term in unique ways. Ideally in court, judges adopt the best definition to promote patient health and safety.
In some cases the standard of care becomes the central issue in dispute. However, in the present case, because the hospital conceded its negligence, there probably was not an extensive debate about the proper standard of care. The contentious issue in this case actually emerged after trial.
Upon receiving the jury verdict of more than $7 million, the hospital decided to file an appeal. The hospital is claiming that this damage award is simply too high. Although $7 million sounds like a lot of money, it certainly is not the highest award ever.
The total lump sum is intended to compensate the victim’s family for a variety of things: pain the victim suffered during the failed treatment, emotional trauma the family suffered and will continue to suffer, and financial hardship caused by the loss of current and future monetary contributions the victim would have made to his family. All of these components are typical points of economic recovery in a medical malpractice case.
No sum of money is enough to remedy the loss of a family member. If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience. A lawyer can help you to obtain the compensation you deserve for the traumatic experience you have encountered.