In a stunning medical malpractice case, a jury recently awarded $55.9 million to a New York woman and her husband after she alleged a series of medical errors left her paralyzed.
According to news reports, the woman underwent spinal surgery in 2009 to relieve pain and tingling sensations in her extremities. According to her lawsuit, the surgeons who operated on her caused an injury to her spine and then failed to inform her about it. After the injury led to pressure on her spinal cord, she became paralyzed from the neck down.
In her lawsuit, the woman argued that the doctors could have prevented her paralysis had they properly diagnosed the problem. Lawyers for the surgeons and other defendants named in the suit argued in the trial that her paralysis was the result of a stroke in her spine, not their own actions. The woman's lawyer argued that her paralysis could have been prevented had the defendants properly diagnosed the problem and treated it in time.
The trial took an exhausting five months to complete. The $55.9 million jury award includes compensation for the woman's medical costs, future costs, modifications to her home, and pain and suffering, as well as $10 million to her husband for loss of his wife's services.
Medical malpractice is a highly complex area of the law. To win a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff must show that the care the patient received fell below professional standards, and that this breach of standards is what caused the injury. To do this, plaintiffs must call upon other medical professionals who can testify about standards within their field and give their opinion on what happened in the patient's case.
Attorneys with experience in medical malpractice law often have good working relationships with expert witnesses, and have skill in presenting the evidence and building a case. A medical error can change the lives of a whole family forever, and it is important that the injured and their loved ones seek out justice when they can.