Medical malpractice is an ever-present danger for American hospital patients. Even newborn babies are not free from the devastating effects of medical negligence caused by irresponsible or reckless doctors or hospital employees.
In two recent medical malpractice cases, patients suffered paralysis and complete loss of ability to live normal lives. Wrongful death lawyers help victims of medical mistakes receive the compensation they deserve.
In Colorado, a jury returned a $15 million verdict in a lawsuit that was filed against a negligent doctor and the hospital at which he worked. This is the largest medical malpractice verdict to date in Colorado. The case involved a 36-year-old patient who was paralyzed chest down only a few hours after being discharged from the hospital.
The patient went to the hospital complaining of numbness in the arms and legs and acute neck pain. The doctor that examined him diagnosed his issues as neck strain. He was discharged immediately. Evidence presented in court clearly proved that the man’s condition was a herniated disc and not neck strain.
This was a serious medical error that could have been avoided. While the patient will receive compensation, no amount of money can ensure that he can walk again. Furthermore, the patient will only receive a part of the compensation that the jury awarded him. Of the $15 million award, only $10 million is for pain, disfigurement, impairment and suffering. Of the $10 million, only $300,000 will come the patient’s way.
In another Baltimore medical malpractice case, a family was awarded $55 million, considered to be one of the largest malpractice awards in the state’s history. The victim, who wished to stay at home to deliver her child with the help of a midwife, had to be rushed to the John Hopkins Hospital after many hours of labor.
But once she reached the hospital, the doctors were in no rush at all.She had to wait more than two hours for an emergency Caesarean operation. This delay, she claims, is the reason why her now two-year-old son is permanently disabled physically and mentally.
After considering all of the evidence, John Hopkins Hospital was ordered to pay the damages, which amount to $55 million. There will be a state cap applied to the damages, so the family can expect to receive an amount of around $29.6 million.
The money will be secured in a trust to take care of the child’s
present and future needs. $4 million will go toward future lost wages,
$25 million towards future medical expenses, and $26 million for pain
and suffering. The state cap reduced the $26 million to $665,000.
The hospital denied the charges and plans to appeal the verdict. It claims that the seizures, cerebral palsy and overall paralysis were caused due to a loss of oxygen during the early stages of labor while the mother was at home, and not because she waited for the Caesarian operation. It claims that the care given was appropriate considering the circumstances.
The family’s lawyer said that money would be a much needed asset in making the baby’s childhood and adulthood more pleasant and manageable. The plans suggested include a wheelchair-accessible single-story house in place of the three-story house the family currently lives in, purchasing medical equipment, paying for treatment not covered by the insurance policies, and around-the-clock in-home care. In cases such as these, victims can greatly benefit from the the assistance of a reputable medical malpractice firm.