Woman awarded $12 million for surgical error

Around the nation and in Pennsylvania, medical errors have received a lot of focus recently. Recent reports have brought to light the serious nature of malpractice incidents noting that as many as 440,000 people in the United States potentially die each year from various forms of medical negligence. Surgical errors are among the leading cause of serious injury or even death. The acts of a careless surgeon can leave patients struggling for the rest of their lives.

Such is the case for one Danbury, CT woman who was the victim of a surgeon mistake during her 2008 hernia surgery. During the operation, her colon was punctured unbeknownst to surgeons who closed up her abdominal cavity without tending to the puncture. An ensuing infection led to septic shock, a heart attack, the onset of organ failure and a comatose state that lasted for a month. Several surgeries later, including some that left her with little large intestine, she survived but continues to have limited mobility and difficulties digesting food.

In 2010, the victim initiated a lawsuit against Danbury Hospital and two surgeons who were involved in the operation. One of the doctors was a resident at the time and now practices in Missouri. A jury in the Danbury Superior Court case has since awarded the woman a damage award of $12 million. According to reports, the hospital may attempt to appeal the decision.

For people who have been affected by a medical error, either as the victim themselves or as the family member of a victim, the need for compensation and justice is great. Talking to an attorney when negligence in medical care is suspected can often provide good information about how to proceed.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Connecticut Hospital Ordered to pay $12M in Medical Malpractice Case,” Dave Collins, June 2, 2014