On July 17, 2019, after a month-long New York medical malpractice trial, a Brooklyn medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of a woman’s estate in the amount of $5 million. The woman had died at age 39 in 2000, one and a half years after she underwent kidney transplant surgery during which a urine leak was not diagnosed and continued for weeks following her surgery, resulting in the loss of her kidney and her return to dialysis (she had been on dialysis since she reached end-stage renal disease in 1996). The woman’s renal disease probably resulted from her long-term use of anti-inflammatory medications that she had taken for years due to her arthritis.
The woman’s urine leak was not diagnosed until her post-surgical visit in March 1999, more than three weeks after her kidney transplant surgery. She was diagnosed with a serious fungal infection due to the urine leak, which leak was repaired at that time, and she was prescribed potent antifungal medication, which destroyed the new kidney. The estate presented evidence during trial that the woman suffered from February 9, 1999 to the date of her death, on July 8, 2000. The $5 million medical malpractice verdict was intended by the Brooklyn medical malpractice jury to compensate the woman for her severe pain and suffering during that period of time. The defendants who remained in the case at the time of trial were the successor to the hospital where the 1999 kidney transplant took place and the transplant surgeon who had performed the woman’s surgery.
The Brooklyn medical malpractice jury determined that the defendants departed from accepted standards of medical practice by failing to timely diagnose the woman’s urine leak after her transplant surgery (a tube stitched to the woman’s bladder was not properly secured and, as a result, she began leaking urine into her body), and that such departure from accepted standard of care was the cause of the woman’s injury. The Brooklyn medical malpractice jury, which consisted of three men and three women, determined that the defendants’ medical malpractice did not contribute to her death. The kidney transplant surgery involved transplanting a kidney from a cadaver.
The New York medical malpractice case took many years to come to trial, due to the bankruptcy of a defendant hospital, which later settled. The estate’s New York medical malpractice lawyer stated after the verdict, “I think the urine fluid leaking from the wound that they [the hospital and surgeon] didn’t investigate, and the failure to do a follow-up sonogram on the pelvic fluid, were key considerations in the jury’s verdict.”
If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a New York medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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