Earlier this year a jury awarded $21 million dollars
in a case of unnecessary brain surgery.
FACTS – The patient was admitted to a hospital for treatment of a temporomandibular joint problem. She underwent a CT scan of her brain and was told that she required an emergency craniotomy. During the surgery, it was discovered that the patient did not have a subdural hematoma or skull fracture, the conditions justifying emergency surgery.
After the unnecessary surgery the patient’s condition deteriorated after the procedure, requiring life support. She later died and is survived by her husband and three (3) adult children.
Initially, the hospital denied all responsibility. The patient’s estate sued the hospital, alleging unnecessary surgery in that the defendant relied on another patient’s CT scan results in recommending the emergency surgery. Two (2) years later, the defendant admitted that they had operated on the wrong patient, but, told the jury, at trial, that they had done no harm to her, although it admitted operating on the wrong patient.
How the jury determined its $21-million award:
• $300,000 for medical and funeral expenses
• $13 million for damages for pain and suffering
• $4.5 million for damages suffered by next of kin.
• $2.2 million for damages to be suffered in future by next of kin.
(Plus $1 million for interest and other expenses)
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TRIPP LAW FIRM – Personal Injury Law