On April 27, 2016, a Philadelphia medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $44.1 million, after thirteen days of trial and nearly seven hours of jury deliberations over the course of two days.
The plaintiff had suffered a catastrophic brain bleed allegedly due to the defendant hospital’s negligent failure to properly monitor and respond to the plaintiff’s level of anticoagulation while she being treated with heparin in the hospital, according to the plaintiff’s Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit. The Philadelphia medical malpractice jury assigned 65% fault to the defendant hospital and 35% fault to the attending physician.
According to the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit, she was 57-years-old in September 2011 when she had surgery at the defendant hospital for a benign tumor (meningioma) in her head, after which she was placed on the anti-coagulation medication, heparin.
When she was first started on heparin in the defendant hospital, testing indicated that she was in the low end of the normal range. While she was being given heparin in the defendant hospital, her anti-coagulation level moved toward the high end of the normal range during a six-day period, meaning that her risk for internal bleeding was increasing. The plaintiff alleged that instead of reducing or stopping the heparin, the hospital staff instead stopped testing her level of anti-coagulation for two days. Three days later, the plaintiff was found comatose due to massive bleeding in her brain.
The defendant hospital contended that the use of heparin and the monitoring of the plaintiff’s anti-coagulation level were proper. The defendant hospital alleged that the plaintiff suffered her brain bleed as a result of a complication from her original surgery. Contrary to what the plaintiff described was a routine surgical resection, the defendant hospital described the surgical procedure that the plaintiff had as a craniotomy and resection that was particularly difficult and complicated due to the location and size of the plaintiff’s mass. The defendant hospital noted that the plaintiff had experienced other complications following the surgery, including swelling that required a drain, fever following the initial surgery, she was diagnosed with meningitis and ventriculitis, and she required a second craniotomy several weeks later to drain an abscess that had formed.
Whatever the cause of the brain hemorhage suffered by the plaintiff, she was left paralyzed on her left side and in her right leg, with the inability to walk, feed herself independently, or use the bathroom on her own, for which her husband provides her with assistance.
The defense attorney has indicated that the defendant hospital disagrees with the Philadelphia medical malpractice jury’s verdict and that the defendant hospital intends to appeal the verdict.
It was reported that the plaintiff’s last settlement demand was $31 million and the defendant hospital’s last settlement offer was $15 million. The plaintiff seeks an additional $3 million added to the jury’s verdict for delay damages.
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