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Man paralyze, awarded $20 million in medical malpractice case

Maryland residents may have read about a man who was paralyzed as a result of medical errors and awarded a $20 million settlement recently. The medical malpractice suit blamed a hospital in another state for causing the 45-year-old man to become a paraplegic. Although the man repeatedly warned his doctors and others at the institution that he thought he had suffered a back fracture, these warnings were not heeded.

He is now confined to a wheelchair. The hospital acknowledged that the man's paralysis was "the result of tragic circumstances related to communications breakdowns between members of his care team." As part of the settlement, the hospital agreed to work with the man -- a software designed -- on analyzing just how and why everything went wrong.

The man suffers from a disorder that causes the spine to become very brittle and highly susceptible to fracturing from even minor traumas. He fell off his bed and suffered severe abdominal and back pain in May 2013. When he went to the hospital, he informed doctors of his disorder repeatedly and said he might have broken his back but even a scan -- that showed a hairline fracture in the man's back that went unnoticed -- did not cause the doctors to believe him. After returning to the ER several times and in constant pain, he was moved into position for an MRI scan -- it was at this point that he lost feeling in his legs and, according to the 2014 suit, his back was probably broken.

When medical malpractice causes enduring hardship, suffering, living in constant pain, disability or loss of income, filing a suit against the party believed responsible may be appropriate. To do this, Maryland victims typically choose to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. During the initial consultation, the attorney will likely assess the incident in question and begin to gather the evidence necessary to support a civil court claim.

Source: CNBC, "A hospital's mistake paralyzes a designer. He got $20M, and an unusual promise", Dan Mangan, June 19, 2016

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