On October 10, 2014, a Baltimore medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $958,000, which included $500,000 for pain and suffering, $250,000 for loss of consortium, and $208,000 for the amount of the plaintiffs’ stipulated medical bills.
The Maryland medical malpractice case took one week to be tried before the jury of three women and three men. The jury deliberated for more than two hours before returning its verdict.
Due to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases in the amount of $710,000 that was in effect at the time of the alleged medical negligence, the total amount that the jury determined to be fair compensation to the plaintiffs for pain and suffering and for the loss of consortium claim will be reduced accordingly.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
The now 60-year-old married woman had been using a feeding tube in order to obtain her daily nourishment since 2008 (she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978 and is presently nonverbal and paralyzed).
In May 2012, her feeding tube became dislodged and she went to a local Baltimore hospital to have it replaced. An endoscopy at that time confirmed the proper placement of her feeding tube. (Endoscopy is the gold-standard for confirming the proper placement of a feeding tube in patients.)
The woman experienced repeated episodes of her feeding tube becoming clogged or dislodged over the following four months, and each time she and her husband returned to the same local Baltimore hospital. On the last occasion on September 2, 2012, she waited for nearly six hours before the defendant gastroenterologist finally examined her.
The defendant doctor attempted to reattach the woman’s feeding tube but encountered significant resistance and used what he described as moderate force to advance the tube during three attempts, resulting in the woman grimacing in pain, according to her husband. Afterwards, the defendant gastroenterologist allegedly made no attempt to confirm the proper placement of the woman’s feeding tube, which had perforated her stomach. She was sent home from the hospital with her husband.
The following day, her husband called 911 after observing his wife having difficulty breathing and sweating following two feedings through her feeding tube. By the time she arrived at the hospital (a different hospital located in the county in which the plaintiffs’ lived), she was unresponsive. She spent the next six weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit where her treatment included multiple surgeries. She was later transferred to a rehabilitation facility for one month before finally being able to return home.
Catherine McConville, et al. v. Muhammad Afzal, M.D., Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No. 24C13002774. Filed May 8, 2013.
If you or a loved one may have suffered serious injuries (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Baltimore or elsewhere in Maryland, you should promptly find a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney (or find a Maryland medical malpractice attorney in your local area) who may investigate your Maryland medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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