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Medical malpractice: $7.5 million awarded in nerve damage case

Doctors play a critical role in the health of our society. We trust the advice of doctors on serious issues concerning our health and hope our physicians make very cautious assessments. If a medical caregiver makes surgical errors when operating on a patient or fails to make a correct diagnosis, it is important the responsible party is held accountable for his or her mistakes. Losing a loved one or having a relative become permanently injured due to a medical mistake can be devastating for any family.

A couple was recently awarded $7.5 million in a medical malpractice verdict. The sum was said to be one of the highest paid in the history of the county where case was heard. Court documents stated that the patient began suffering pain in his back and leg after undergoing surgery on his lower back in the fall of 2010.

After his wife took him to the emergency room, the medical caregivers on duty came to the conclusion that the man had a blood clot in his back. Although the clot was not large, it was located near a group of nerves. The man's symptoms also included an inability to control evacuative functions, as well as paralysis of his legs.

Testimony stated that the symptoms the man experienced should have put medical staff on alert, but no one told the patient's doctor until the next day. By the time the doctor was informed of the ailments, the patient had suffered irreparable neurological damage. As a result, he is expected to remain impotent and incontinent for the rest of his life.

It is probably safe to assume that the man would forego any amount of money, no matter how much, to once again regain control of his body.

Although this case was heard in Alabama, residents of Montana can unfortunately relate, as such medical errors can happen anywhere.

Source: Fox 6, "Jefferson Co. couple awarded $7.5 million in malpractice case," Melanie Posey, March 3, 2014

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