Medical malpractice victims in New York and around the country often suffer catastrophic harm and are sometimes awarded significant damages by juries. A Baltimore hospital agreed to pay $190 million to 8,000 litigants in 2014 after it was revealed that one of their most senior gynecologists had used surveillance equipment to secretly photograph his patients. Another 2014 medical malpractice case involved a 29-year-old woman who was left brain damaged and paralyzed in part because paramedics lacked the equipment needed to treat her anaphylactic shock. A jury awarded her $172 million for her past and future medical expenses and pain.
A pregnant New York woman suffered three heart attacks and lost both of her legs after mistakes were made during routine ectopic surgery. The jury hearing the case concluded that the senior physician present had strayed from generally accepted medical standards and ordered the hospital involved to pay the woman $62 million in damages. Surgeons can also face medical malpractice lawsuits for failing to warn their patients about the risks involved as a New York doctor learned in 2010 when a jury ordered him to pay a Bronx woman $60 million.
Damages can also be high when the victims of doctor errors are young and face decades of crippling medical bills. The family of a 12-year-old Chicago boy was awarded $53 million in 2016 in connection with a brain injury suffered at birth that left him unable to care for himself and confined to a wheelchair. Another 2016 medical malpractice lawsuit was filed by the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was left with serious brain damage after a series of botched surgeries. The doctor involved chose to settle the litigation for $30 million to avoid the risks of a jury trial.
Doctors and their medical malpractice insurance providers will sometimes seek to settle cases initiated by individuals who have been injured in a surgical procedure, and experienced personal injury attorneys may use this reluctance to face a jury to negotiate more favorable terms for their clients. Juries tend to empathize most with victims that they identify with, and the victims of medical malpractice are often highly sympathetic.