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$62 million awarded to New York amputee

Jan 24, 2014 | Surgical Errors

Even routine medical procedures can go wrong, though serious issues are statistically rare. In the case of a Brooklyn woman who was injured in a surgical procedure, a routine surgery resulted in days of pain and, ultimately, the loss of both legs and the partial loss of her hearing. The woman filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and doctors, and was awarded $62 million by a jury on Friday, Jan. 10.

According to records, the woman was admitted to the New York hospital for a routine removal of an ectopic pregnancy. During the procedure, her colon was punctured. That caused an infection to form, but doctors were not aware of the issues at the time.

The woman was discharged from the hospital even though she complained of terrible pain in her stomach. According to reports, the woman later returned to the hospital due to the unbearable pain. Gangrene ended up in both of her legs. Her feet were amputated first, but the doctors amputated both her legs below the knees.

A spokesperson for the hospital stated that medical staff did what they were supposed to. He said their action saved the woman’s life. The plaintiff attorney argued that the surgical error originally caused the infection, which led to the amputations. He also argued that the doctors did not recognize the symptoms early enough.

The woman was given antibiotics to fight the infection even after her legs were removed. The administration of these antibiotics resulted in a partial loss of hearing. The jury awarded the woman $62 million. The award was split into $58 million for past, present and future pain and suffering and more than $3 million in medical expenses. According to the defendant’s attorney, they will appeal the jury decision and award amount.

Medical negligence, surgical errors, medication mistakes and other types of medical malpractice are not acceptable. If you or someone you love have been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may have the right to seek compensation for such claims as medical expense, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "Brooklyn jury awards $62M in med-mal case" Charisma L. Miller, Esq., Jan. 14, 2014