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Mother and son get $14.5 million in medical malpractice suit

Doctors and hospitals have a sacred duty to do everything in their power to keep those in their charge safe from harm. Sadly, preventable mistakes happen all the time in Montana that leave patients with life-threatening injuries or ailments that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Often, the hospitals refuse to admit fault and families are left with debts of millions of dollars for medical expenses, in-home care and rehabilitation.

One woman has been fighting for years against a hospital error that left her son with visual problems, cerebral palsy and cognitive delays that require constant care. When her water broke in April 2003, she got to the hospital and asked them to help deliver her child as soon as possible. She’d had complications from a previous pregnancy that required a Cesarean section and she was worried the same might happen this time.

The staff at the hospital didn’t comply and, even when the obstetrician on duty attended to her some five hours later, he told her the baby was healthy and didn’t need to come out. Nearly four hours after that, it was discovered that the infant was hemorrhaging from the brain and doctors finally complied, rushing to perform an emergency Cesarean. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Her first suit in 2004 was dismissed, but she refiled in 2011 and a jury decided that medical negligence was clearly a factor in her son’s injuries. She was awarded $14.5 million — $8 million was for her son’s future medical needs, $5 million was for the pain and suffering it caused, $500,000 was for economic losses and $1 million was for medical services received.

Cases like these, where justice is served, are an encouraging reminder to those who’ve been injured because of medical negligence: an attorney can help you fight your case and may be able to get you compensation for your damages.

Source: Cleveland.com, “Garfield Heights boy and mother awarded $14.5 million in malpractice case,” Karen Farkas, June 13, 2014

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