A New York Supreme Court judge has told the ex-wife of a man who had successfully sued for medical malpractice in New York that her jury award in the amount of $1 million was excessive and that she would have to endure a new trial to determine her damages for loss of services from her husband if she did not agree to accept a reduction to $100,000.00. The judge stated in his written opinion, “I direct a new trial on the issue of loss of services to [the ex-wife], who left the marriage when the going got tough, unless she agrees to accept $100,000.”
The New York medical malpractice victim had sued his former neurologist who had misdiagnosed his medical condition in 2004 as the very serious and potentially deadly disease, myasthenia gravis, after the man complained of incidents of falling. As a result of the misdiagnosis, the man had 74 unnecessary treatments that included surgery to remove his thymus gland, blood treatments every two weeks, and he took medication that caused him to gain 80 pounds. It was not until 2009 that a new neurologist correctly diagnosed the man as having a relatively mild medical condition known as cataplexy, which was easily and successfully treated with medication.
The medical malpractice victim testified during the medical malpractice trial in April 2014 that his misdiagnosis caused him to become very depressed and angry, and that he began treating his wife less as a wife and more as a nursemaid. As part of her attention to her husband’s medical condition, she cleaned out his port in his shoulder every night and she brought him to all of his medical appointments.
After the man was correctly diagnosed and treated, the wife divorced her husband. That decision led the New York Supreme Court judge to determine that the $1 million that the jury had awarded her for loss of services provided by her husband for a period of six-and-a-half years was excessive when compared to the $1.5 million the medical malpractice jury had awarded to her husband for his future damages for pain and suffereing that were intended to compensate him for the remaining 28 years of his life.
The total medical malpractice verdict in favor of the man was $3.8 million, which the New York Supreme Court did not disturb.
The wife’s lawyer responded to the reduction in her medical malpractice award by stating that the New York Supreme Court judge was mistaken that the woman had left the marriage when the going got tough but rather she “stuck it out” until the marriage did not improve. The lawyer indicated that the family was considering whether to accept the reduction to $100,000 but was happy that the judge did not reduce the man’s portion of the New York medical malpractice verdict. Meanwhile, the defendant neurologist indicated his determination to continue his appeal of the jury’s verdict.
If you or a family member may have been seriously injured (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a New York medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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