A Jefferson County, Alabama medical malpractice jury has awarded a 55-year-old man and his wife $7.5 million in their medical malpractice case that alleged that a local hospital was negligent in its care and treatment of the man and that its negligence led to the man’s permanent incontinence and impotence. The couple alleged that the hospital’s delay in contacting the man’s physician after the man appeared in the hospital’s emergency department with serious symptoms resulted in his permanent injuries.
The man had lower back surgery in September 2010 after which he began to experience severe back and leg pain. After he sought treatment in the defendant hospital’s emergency room, he was admitted into the hospital. The hospital determined that he had a small blood clot near a bundle of nerves in his back. His symptoms progressed to include incontinence and he was unable to move his legs.
Despite the man’s serious neurological condition, which was deteriorating, the hospital failed to contact the man’s physician until the following day, at which time the delay in treatment resulted in the man suffering his permanent injuries.
After the jury’s verdict, which was one of the largest in Jefferson County, Alabama, the plaintiffs’ attorney stated, “This large of a verdict, it is huge and I think it sends the message that people here in Jefferson County are not going to tolerate this kind of negligence.”
It is inexcusable that the hospital staff allegedly failed to promptly contact the man’s physician to inform the physician that the man had appeared in the emergency room with severe pain in his back and his leg following his recent back surgery, that diagnostic testing had determined that he had a blood clot near a bundle of nerves in his back, and that his condition was deteriorating over a short period of time. Such neurological compromise is a red flag that a serious medical condition is rapidly progressing and that immediate appropriate medical care is necessary.
The defendant hospital represents on its website, “It is our mission … to deliver safe, cost-effective care to the community and patients we serve. We always strive to provide the best, and safest, medical care possible … Quality is the cornerstone of everything we do. It is our passion to provide exceptional care to every patient we serve.”
If the hospital’s actions had been consistent with its mission statement, perhaps the man would have received timely and proper medical care that would have prevented his devastating permanent injuries.
If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical malpractice in Alabama or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of an Alabama medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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