At the conclusion of a three-week Pennsylvania medical malpractice trial that ended on October 6, 2016, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury awarded $8.78 million to a 52-year-old man who lost his legs due to a series of negligent acts in a Pennsylvania hospital that led to sepsis and the need to amputate his legs.
The former press foreman was admitted to the defendant hospital in January 2012 in order to have surgery to repair a colovesical fistula. The surgery was performed by the defendant surgeon. Later that month, the man had follow-up surgery performed by the defendant surgeon during which six inches of his colon was removed.
Post-surgical complications resulted in the man being admitted to the hospital and treated in his doctor’s office on multiple occasions. In March 2012, the man was re-admitted to the defendant hospital due to severe abdominal pain.
The defendant surgeon performed exploratory surgery to investigate the source of the man’s severe abdominal pain, during which it was discovered that the man’s colon was perforated and was allowing fluids to leak into his abdomen. Following the surgery, the man’s wife insisted that her husband be flown to another hospital for treatment, where the man subsequently endured seven surgeries to address his condition and infections.
While the care and treatment in the subsequent hospital saved the man’s life, he suffered septic shock that curtailed blood flow to his legs, which led to gangrene in both feet that required surgical amputation of both of his legs at mid-calf. The man later required his left thumb and a portion of his left index finger to be amputated due to continuing circulation problems caused by sepsis.
The man’s wife had to work two jobs to pay for the family’s living expenses following her husband’s amputations.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in 2013 and named as defendants the hospital, the hospital’s parent company, and the surgeon. The Pennsylvania medical malpractice complaint alleged that nurses at the defendant hospital negligently failed to timely advise the defendant surgeon regarding the man’s condition for more than twelve hours.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury determined that the nurses at the first hospital were negligent in failing to timely contact the defendant surgeon concerning the man’s serious medical condition, and that the nursing negligence resulted in a delay of surgery that caused the catastrophic harm suffered by the man. The Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury further determined that the defendant surgeon was not liable for the man’s injuries.
If you or a loved one may have been injured due to hospital malpractice in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your hospital negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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