Woman awarded $17.9 million in medical malpractice lawsuit

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 08, 2012 in Medical Malpractice

When a medical problem seems serious enough to call 911, the last thing a person would expect is for a dispatcher or medic to refuse transport to the hospital. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to one woman who was recently awarded a large multi-million dollar settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit related to both doctor and hospital negligence.

It began in 2008, when the 35-year old woman went to her local emergency room complaining of severe pain. A doctor diagnosed her as having a kidney stone; she was prescribed pain killers and sent home. The woman awoke the next day complaining of numbness and agonizing pain. When she called 911, however, she was refused transport back to the hospital.

The next day, her fiance rushed her to the hospital where it was determined she had developed a serious sepsis infection that had spread and resulted in gangrene. Waking from a coma, the woman discovered both of her hands and feet had been amputated and she could not see out of one eye.

The 35-year old mother of two, now faces a daily nightmare of having to rely on others for even the most basic things like brushing her teeth or using the restroom. She describes waking up every day to the reality of her situation as "a nightmare".

She recently won her legal battle, when a judge ordered the hospital where she was treated and two of its doctors to pay out $9.4 million and the city, whose 911 dispatchers refused to transport the woman back to the hospital, $8.5 million.

While this particular case is full of extremes from the seriousness of the injuries the woman sustained to the amount of compensation she was awarded, every day doctor and hospital negligence cause serious injuries to patients around the country and in states like West Virginia.

Source: NY Daily News, "Legal battle ends, but Brooklyn mother's fight for normal life may never be over," John Marzulli, Mar. 5, 2012

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