An eight-person Rhode Island medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $40 million on September 21, 2017 in favor of a 62-year-old man who lost his leg due to medical malpractice at Rhode Island Hospital, which amount will be increased to $62 million when interest is added in. The Rhode Island medical malpractice jury verdict is reported to be the largest medical malpractice verdict in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island medical malpractice plaintiff was 55-years-old when he went to the defendant hospital in December 2010, complaining of pain in his lower back, fatigue, and weight loss. The plaintiff was on blood thinners for a genetic blood-clotting disorder. The physicians at the hospital advised the man to stop taking his blood thinners so that a diagnostic colonoscopy could be performed to rule out lymphoma.
By the time the man returned to the hospital two days later, he had been off of his blood thinners for ten days. He was determined to be hyper-coagulated at that time and was admitted to the hospital. The initial plan was to perform a lymph-node biopsy but a bone-marrow biopsy was done instead. One of the physicians at the hospital recommended that the man begin talking blood thinners again, but the order to start blood thinners was canceled. The man was discharged from the hospital with instructions to stay off of his blood thinners until one week after he had the lymph-node biopsy, which was scheduled for six days later.
At home, the man developed life-threatening blood clots in his legs and his lungs. Upon his arrival at the hospital, he was given high doses of anticoagulants but to no avail: gangrene developed in his right leg that required that his leg be amputated.
The plaintiff’s Rhode Island medical malpractice lawsuit claimed that the hospital’s physicians breached the standard of care by failing to timely and appropriately administer blood thinners, which would have prevented the life-threatening clotting and would have resulted in the plaintiff not losing his leg. The plaintiff alleged in his Rhode Island medical malpractice lawsuit that he suffered from isolation, depression, anxiety, and immobility due to the medical negligence.
A spokesperson for the defendant hospital stated after the verdict was rendered, “Rhode Island Hospital is disappointed in Thursday’s ruling. The hospital strongly believes our physicians made the appropriate clinical decision after careful consideration of the patient’s condition and medical history. Rhode Island Hospital’s attorneys are currently evaluating all methods of post-trial relief.”
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury that may be due to medical malpractice in Rhode Island or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in Rhode Island or in your state who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you, and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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