On May 26, 2017, a South Carolina medical malpractice jury awarded the South Carolina medical malpractice wrongful death plaintiff $1 million in noneconomic damages and $103,054.10 in economic damages, after a four-day trial. The South Carolina medical malpractice jury determined that the defendant hospital was 20% liable for the verdict and the defendant physician, who took care of the patient in the hospital, was 80% liable. The plaintiff alleged that the patient died as a result of medical negligence in the defendant hospital.
The decedent went to the emergency room of the defendant hospital in March 2011, complaining of shortness of breath, coughing, and congestion. The decedent came under the care of the defendant physician while in the hospital, where she was treated for hypoxia and bronchitis. Despite the woman being on Coumadin, the defendant physician ordered an additional blood thinner, Lovenox. The order for Lovenox required the initial dose to be administered at the time of the order, and then an additional dose every twelve hours.
The initial dose of Lovenox was administered at 4:00 a.m., despite the 1:30 a.m. order to begin Lovenox. The decedent was administered three doses of Lovenox within an eighteen hour period, despite the dosing regimen stated in the order. The woman developed a hematoma on her right leg due to the inability of her blood to properly clot. The hematoma progressed to a breakdown of skin.
The woman was discharged from the defendant hospital but required further and ongoing medical treatment, which included surgery, that was needed as a result of the alleged medical negligence that had occurred in the defendant hospital in March 2011, according to the South Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit. The plaintiff alleged that the woman died on January 25, 2014 “as a direct and proximate result of the negligent medical care rendered to her by the defendants.”
The South Carolina medical malpractice plaintiff filed the wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit in which it was alleged that the defendant physician, and others in the defendant hospital, negligently failed to properly diagnose, treat, and manage the decedent in the defendant hospital. The defendants argued that the woman’s death was caused by an unavoidable complication and was “primarily caused and/or occasioned by a natural disease process over which these defendants have no control.”
Post-trial motions regarding the amount of the South Carolina medical malpractice jury’s verdict are expected to be filed. The defendants have not yet determined whether an appeal will be filed (a spokesperson for the defendant hospital stated after the verdict: ” … we believe we followed the best standard of care for her case. Obviously, the jury disagreed. We are currently considering an appeal but have not yet made a decision”).
If you suffered a serious harm due to hospital malpractice in South Carolina or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a hospital malpractice lawyer in South Carolina, or a hospital malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim for you and represent you in a hospital medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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