After a long trial in the Bronx, a jury has awarded the parents of a young man who passed away $45.6 million.
The Claims They Made About Their Son
In the medical malpractice lawsuit that they filed, the mother and father of a man who passed away alleged that their son’s paralysis and eventual death were the result of doctor and hospital negligence.
Their son was paralyzed when he underwent surgery to correct his scoliosis when he was just 14-years-old. At that time, his parents were told that their son had a stroke during the operation and that a CT had been performed to rule out any surgical mistakes. However, the lawsuit alleges that the CT scan never took place and that the cause of the paralysis was from four screws which were misplaced during his surgery. His parents claim that if the problem had been detected sooner, he may have been able to regain some of the function in his legs.
Eight years later, at just 22-years-old, he passed away due to complications from his paralysis.
Aren’t Patients Warned About Possible Side Effects?
Generally, prior to having any surgery performed, patients are informed of all of the potential side effects they may experience from both the surgery and the drugs used during their procedure. They typically sign consent forms indicating that they have had these risks explained to them.
This, however, does not prevent the patient or their families from pursuing legal action if the doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals act negligently. Negligence occurs when medical professionals deviate from the generally accepted standard of care based on the patient’s age and medical conditions.
In this case, the evidence showed that the doctors and hospital deviated from the standard of care when they failed to perform a CT scan which would have determined what the actual cause of the paralysis was. They also acted negligently when they informed the parents and patient that the test had been performed and the results showed a different medical condition.
I Feel Bad – Won’t My Doctor Lose His License?
No. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit does not mean that your doctor will lose their license. In most cases they don’t lose anything – their insurance company pays for their legal defense and any damages that are awarded to the plaintiff.
Common Types Of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases are not limited to surgical mistakes. Other forms include:
- diagnostic errors such as a failure to diagnose or an incorrect diagnosis
- prescription drug errors
- birth injuries resulting in damage to a newborn
- anesthesia errors
Is $45 Million A Typical Amount Given In Compensation?
No. Every case is different and the amounts that plaintiffs receive in compensation through a settlement or verdict varies. When determining an appropriate amount to give the plaintiff, the court will consider how much they have had to spend on medical treatments due to the injury or illness they suffered, if they lost wages due to the injury, if they will be able to return to work, how much pain and suffering they have endured (both physical and emotional), and if they are unable to do things in life that they previously enjoyed.
How Can I Get Access To My Medical Records?
Everyone has a legal right to obtain copies of all of their medical records. The easiest way to do this is submit a request in writing to all doctors that you have been treated by. Be sure to keep a dated copy of all requests that you submit. If you find that they resist giving you your records you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What If I Don’t Know The Names Of Everyone Who Treated Me?
Everyone who treated you at a particular hospital or practice is required to document exams, testing, and treatments that they performed in your chart. It doesn’t matter if you remember their name – all of these things will be noted in your medical chart.