A California medical malpractice lawsuit was recently filed against a California hospital for the death of a 20-month-old child who died while an inpatient at the hospital after having what was described as successful surgery. The child died allegedly as a result of too much sedation or due to aspiration, either cause leading to hypoxia, while the child’s mother slept at his bedside. An autopsy was preformed on the child’s body to determine the cause of death, but 14 months later, the results of the autopsy have not been released.
The mother’s California medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit alleges that her son had surgery at the defendant hospital on May 23, 2014. Her son spent several days in the ICU following the successful surgery, and was transferred to a hospital ward on May 30, 2014. The child appeared to be recovering from his surgery, with his condition reported as stable as of June 1, 2014. However, the child was pronounced dead during the early morning of June 2, 2014, while his mother slept by his bedside.
The child’s mother alleges in her medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendant hospital was at fault because the child did not have his vital signs monitored at the time he stopped breathing as a result of being given an overdose of pain medication. Because the child’s vital signs were not being closely monitored, the hospital’s nursing staff was not warned that the child was in distress in time to properly respond to the dire situation and save his life.
The alleged facts of this California medical malpractice lawsuit are indicative of the serious flaw and unfairness in California’s medical malpractice law that caps (limits) the amount of noneconomic compensatory damages that can be recovered for a precious life lost so young due to alleged medical negligence: is $250,000 fair, adequate, or just compensation for such a loss?
Caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases are very beneficial for medical providers whose negligence or incompetence causes the most serious or catastrophic injuries to innocent patients, but those who are harmed the most by medical negligence are also harmed the most by the artificial and arbitrary limits placed on the amount that they can recover for their losses.
Do victims of medical malpractice obtain justice when they are not fully and fairly compensated for their losses caused solely by the negligence of medical providers that could not have been anticipated or controlled by the victims? Legislators who pass the laws that limit or restrict the amount of compensation that those harmed by medical negligence may obtain for their injuries should not be permitted to substitute their political agendas and their opinions of what is just, fair, and adequate, for the verdicts of unbiased medical malpractice juries following full adversarial proceedings. No one group in our society should be granted favorable treatment that results in others being severely harmed. Full personal responsibility for acts that harm others must be the norm, not the exception.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in California, you should promptly find a California medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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