On August 12, 2014, an Ohio medical malpractice jury, after a two-week trial, awarded the estate of a 30-year-old man who never woke up after surgery, $900,000 for loss of companionship and $900,000 for metal anguish, for a total of $1.8 million. The medical malpractice defendants against whom the verdict was rendered were the physician who had assessed and cleared the man for surgery and his medical practice.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
Two weeks after the man had been injured as a result of a traffic collision, he was scheduled for facial surgery on May 22, 2010. In preparation for the surgery, the man was examined by the defendant physician in order to determine if the man was an appropriate candidate for the surgery. According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, the man complained to the defendant physician that he was having severe headaches but the defendant physician cleared the man for surgery anyway.
The surgery took place as scheduled, but the man failed to regain consciousness. He died seven days later. He was unmarried and did not have any children, although he was survived by his parents and two sisters.
The medical malpractice plaintiff (the estate) contended during trial that the man had sustained an undiagnosed subdural hematoma as a result of the traffic collision, which was expanding and causing the build up of pressure, which was causing the man’s severe headaches. Despite the man’s complaints and symptoms, the defendant physician failed to order a CT scan of the man’s head, which would have diagnosed the subdural hematoma that could have been evacuated at that time before the failure to treat the condition led to the man’s death, according to the medical malpractice plaintiff.
The surgeon who performed the surgery and nurses involved with the man’s care were also named as medical malpractice defendants, but the jury determined that they were not responsible for the man’s death (the nurses had noted in the man’s medical records that he complained of headaches but inadequate communication among the health care providers led to the failure to timely and appropriately diagnose the man’s medical condition, according to the plaintiff’s contentions at trial).
The amount of the jury’s verdict is not subject to Ohio’s cap on damages in medical malpractice cases because the cap does not apply to wrongful death claims. The medical malpractice defendants against whom the verdict was rendered have not indicated if they will appeal.
If you or a member of your family may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of an Ohio medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice clam for you and represent you in a medical malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.
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