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Woman claims medical malpractice caused serious complications

Most everyone in Maryland who goes undergoes surgery does so knowing that there are certain complications that may naturally occur as a result. However, the vast majority of people have confidence that their surgeons will do everything possible to ensure their safety and future wellbeing. One out-of-state woman, however, claims that medical malpractice during a relatively routine surgery significantly impacted her life, and a jury recently agreed.

The woman underwent surgery in 2008 for a hernia. However, she claims that, during the surgery, her colon was punctured. Court papers claim that the two doctors named in the lawsuit failed to notice the puncture and closed the wound. As a result, she experienced an abdominal infection that resulted in septic shock.

After a heart attack and organ failure, she spent approximately one month in a coma. Although her condition is somewhat improved, she continues to suffer from the effects of the mistakes that occurred at the Connecticut hospital, including digestion and mobility issues. A jury recently awarded her $12 million in damages. The hospital continues to dispute the claims, arguing that one of the doctors named in the suit was a resident. The hospital argues that the supervising doctor who settled the claims against him privately, prior to the start of the trial, should bear responsibility in that instance.

Even though there are accepted, related complications that may occur as a result of a surgery -- due to the effects of anesthesia, for example -- an act of medical malpractice is not expected or accepted. Such an event can cause serious, long-term health consequences, resulting in medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Those in Maryland who have been the victim of a medical care provider’s negligence have the option of seeking legal recourse in a civil court. By doing so successfully, they could not receive damages related to the financial consequences of the act but also prevent a similar action in the future.

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

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