Who among us would ever expect to wake up blind following prostate surgery? That nightmare was the reality for a former military man who had undergone prostate surgery at a military hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. While continuing to deny liability, the United States recently agreed to settle the man’s Federal Tort Claims Act medical malpractice claim by paying $850,000, which was announced on October 26, 2015 in federal court in Honolulu.
The plaintiff was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2010 and agreed to undergo robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu that took place in June 2010. The plaintiff claims that he was never advised before agreeing to the robotic surgery that blindness was a potential risk of the procedure.
The plaintiffs’ federal medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that when the man woke up from the nearly seven hour surgery, he was nearly totally blind and also suffered incontinence and impotency. They alleged that the cause of the man’s blindness was the length of the surgery, and that the surgeon failed to advise them that if the procedure lasted more than five hours, that blindness could result.
The plaintiffs alleged in their federal tort claim that the procedure that was performed could be performed in two and a half hours if performed by proficient surgeons. Instead, the medical personnel who performed the plaintiff’s robotic surgery were less experienced in performing this type of surgery, thereby taking almost three times the amount of time to perform the plaintiff’s surgery.
The plaintiff and his wife filed their federal tort claim in federal court in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2013. The U.S. government defended against the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice allegations and continued to do so even when announcing the settlement.
In July 2015, the U.S. government agreed to pay $1.3 million to the parents of a four-month-old baby who died at Tripler Army Medical Center after being taken to the emergency room on October 18, 2012 because the baby had labored breathing as a result of an upper respiratory infection. The parents’ federal tort claim lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent, including using an oxygen mask on the baby’s face that did not fit properly.
The baby died in her parents’ arms on October 22, 2012, after being removed from life support following the parents being advised that their baby had suffered irreversible brain damage.
In this sad case of a parents’ loss of a child, the U.S. government also denied liability, even when providing the federal court in Honolulu with the proposed settlement for approval.
If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice at a federal medical facility, including a military or VA medical center in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who handles Federal Tort Claims Act claims and who may investigate your federal medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a federal tort claim action, if appropriate.
Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find federal medical malpractice attorneys (federal tort claim attorneys) who may assist you.
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