Quadruple-Amputee Recovers $25.3 Million Due To Physician's Malpractice
Last month, a Milwaukee woman and her husband were awarded a $25.3 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice action that was based on a physician’s treatment of the woman that resulted in all four of the woman’s limbs being amputated. According to a report by a local news source, the woman was admitted to the hospital with severe abdominal pain, a rapid heartbeat, and a fever. Doctors told her that it was likely a fibroid issue and sent her home with instructions to contact her gynecologist in the morning.
A few hours later, the woman collapsed at her home and entered septic shock. As it turns out, her condition was a Strep A infection, the same infection that causes strep throat. The doctors quickly treated the woman’s infection, but by the time they did there was already significant damage to her vascular system. The end result was the amputation of all of her limbs.
The Case at Trial
At trial, the woman and her husband sought damages of between $44 and $45 million, arguing that the woman will need 24/7 care for the rest of her life. Aside from the obvious hardship this put on her, her situation changes her husband’s life as well.
However, in the end, the jury determined that the couple should be awarded $25.3 million for their claim, $15 million of which was for her pain and suffering and another $1.5 million for her husband’s loss of companionship. The applicable state law in Wisconsin currently caps these “non-economic” damages at $750,000, and the defense attorneys for the doctor and his physician’s assistant, who was also found liable, are expected to ask the judge to reduce the damages to that amount.
With that said, the attorney for the family explained that this may be a good opportunity to challenge that cap in damages, given the extreme facts of this case.
Maryland’s Cap on Non-Economic Damages
Each state is permitted to cap non-economic damages at whatever number the state legislature sees fit. In Maryland, the cap depends on when the malpractice event occurred. Currently, the cap for malpractice occurring in August 2014 is $725,000, but that figure generally increases every year.
Some states choose not to cap non-economic damages. In these states, the jury award is permitted, no matter what it is, as long as it does not offend the conscience of the judge, meaning that it is shockingly high.
Have You Been Injured By Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate you for your injuries or loss related to the incident. Due to the complexity of these claims and the sophisticated attorneys employed by doctors and hospitals, it is highly recommended that you secure a dedicated medical malpractice attorney before proceeding. With an attorney’s assistance, you will be able to better understand the legal landscape of your claim and what it is that you will need to prove in order to succeed.