On May 7, 2012, a Maryland medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in the amount of $1.2M in favor of a woman who had undergone a cardiac catheterization (a procedure whereby a doctor inserts a wire tool and catheter through the patient’s groin and manipulates the catheter up the descending aorta and down the ascending aorta during which the doctor watches the procedure on a monitor) that went wrong.
The cardiologist performed the procedure on June 3, 2010 during which the wire perforated the base of the woman’s aortic valve in her heart’s left ventricle and became stuck. The cardiologist had to perform open heart surgery in order to remove the wire. The medical malpractice claim alleged that the wire got stuck through the negligence of the cardiologist. The cardiologist claimed that there was a pre-existing hole in the valve that was undetectable during the procedure and that the wire slipped into the hole and got stuck. The woman’s medical malpractice lawyer claimed that there was no hole and that the cardiologist pushed against resistance, which was negligent.
As a result of the delay before the open heart surgery could be performed, the woman developed blood clots that caused loss of blood flow, resulting in damaged nerves in the woman’s right leg and foot. As a result, the woman has permanent burning-type pain that is reduced by pain medication but is never completely relieved. Her sleep is disrupted by her pain that limits her rest to only two to three hours over the course of a day-and-a-half to two days.
The Maryland medical malpractice jury awarded the woman $50,000 for her past medical expenses, approximately $250,000 for her anticipated future medical expenses, and $900,000 for her noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement).
Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages will reduce the noneconomic damages award from $900,000 to $680,000. The medical malpractice defendant has not yet determined if he will appeal the jury’s verdict.
Source: The Daily Record, May 14, 2012
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