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Couple wins medical malpractice suit, awarded $16 million

Health care professionals are required to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. Physicians, specialists, obstetricians, nurses, therapists and other types of medical personnel are covered by this professional responsibility. When Maryland health care providers fail to maintain reasonable standards of care, they can be held liable for the damages patients suffer via medical malpractice suits. 

An out-of-state couple was recently awarded $16 million in a jury verdict against a medical center. The plaintiffs, a husband and wife, sued the center for medical negligence and fraud based upon the center's advertising campaign for natural birth. Their lawsuit centered around their allegation that the wife suffered permanent nerve damage and was diagnosed with Pudendal Neuralgia.

According to the claim, the woman became pregnant in June 2011. She had given birth to her previous three children at a hospital. Her desire for a natural birth led her to choose another medical center for her fourth delivery. During labor, the woman says she was forced to lay down on her back and restrained. According to the complaint, a nurse applied pressure to the woman's head in order to delay delivery.

Pudendal Neuralgia is both catastrophic and debilitating in that it is emotionally difficult to deal with due to it causing "silent pain." The jury awarded the plaintiffs $10 million for compensatory damages and an additional $6 million for punitive damages. Medical malpractice lawsuits pose a number of legal difficulties -- one of the largest being that all patients accept some degree of risk when undergoing medical treatments or procedures. While some risks may appear unavoidable, departures from established standards of care, regulatory violations and medical negligence are clearly preventable. A Maryland personal injury attorney experienced in handling medical malpractice issues is typically consulted in these circumstances, as these claims are often complicated by the technical medical information that is involved.

Source: wbrc.com, "Couple awarded $16 million against Brookwood Medical Center", Lydia Hu, Aug. 7, 2016

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