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Spouse’s damage award thrown out by judge

Pennsylvania residents are logically concerned about the safety of their healthcare. Reports about various medical errors seem to abound regularly in the media. From medication errors to a failure to diagnose, the range of negligent actions and associated injuries is great. Certainly for victims, the impact of any instances of medical malpractice can be severe and long-lasting. Family members are also frequently affected and may even be due compensation as a result.

When spouses or other relatives suffer directly due to injuries sustained by their loved ones, damage awards can sometimes be given directly to them as well as to the injured parties. One woman received a $1 million settlement by a jury for what was considered the loss of her husband’s services. The husband received a total of $3.8 million, including $1.5 million for future damages, due to a 2004 misdiagnosis. However, the woman’s award has been thrown out by a New York Supreme Court judge because she has subsequently left her husband.

During a six-plus year period, the wife became essentially her husband’s round-the-clock caregiver as he underwent multiple treatments including an operation that were later deemed unnecessary. The man suffered side effects including excessive weight gain and became unable to participate in daily family life. When a second doctor eventually diagnosed the man properly, the wife chose to leave the marriage. She must now either accept a $100,000 award or choose to pursue an entirely new trial for her portion of the original award.

Stories like this illustrate the complexities that can arise from the actions of just one negligent physician. People who suffer at the hands of healthcare professionals may be able to receive help and compensation by talking to an experienced malpractice attorney.

Source: New York Daily News, “Ex-wife of landscaper who received $1 million in medical malpractice case cannot keep the money after she left husband ‘when the going got tough’: judge,” Barbara Ross, July 16, 2014

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