Over the last few weeks your Charleston, SC attorney has been discussing serious injuries related to pharmaceutical and medication errors. Below are two unrelated instances in which middle-aged women entered hospitals for treatment of a specific condition, suffered complications due to hospital mistakes, and were ultimately much worse at release than when admitted to the respective hospitals' care.
A civil jury in the Bronx awarded a brain-damaged woman a sum around $120 million for a series of New York City hospital mistakes. The sum is the one of the largest ever awarded in a medical malpractice verdict in the State of New York. The brain injury stems from a February 2004 hospital visit for a seizure. According to the now 45-year-old woman's medical malpractice lawyer, medical personnel mismanaged the woman's medications, failed to respond swiftly to "crises" and did not provide essential treatments. After receiving anti-seizure medication, the woman suffered an allergic reaction, causing severe swelling in her face, eyes and throat. The condition is known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and is an extremely rare and severe skin disorder that is due to an allergic reaction or viral infection, and constitutes a dermatological emergency.
An appeal of the monstrous verdict appears to be imminent as the city claims the award is excessive, saying the judgment is neither consistent with the law nor the facts of the case. Citing that the woman earned less than $40,000 a year as a claims adjuster, but was awarded $10 million in lost earnings, and further explaining that her past medical costs totaling $583,000 (and covered by Medicaid) were compensated by the jury in the amount of $5 million. To note, it has been long been considered that civil juries in the Bronx are the most generous in New York City. In fact, a personal injury lawyer told the Associated Press in 1990 that "If I'm a plaintiff, I rather be there than anyplace in the world."
The woman's medical malpractice attorney was quick to point out that even if the specific awards mentioned above are excessive, combined they only amount to a little more than 10 percent of the total verdict.