When people in New York enter a hospital for surgery, they expect things to go as smoothly as possible. There are certain risks involved with every surgery of which patients should be made aware. However, patients should not have to suffer after a surgery because of a surgeon’s recklessness during the surgery. A 75-year-old patient has been awarded $725,000 in a medical malpractice suit after the judge found that the surgeon had been negligent in his actions.
Apparently, the man had hurt his back, and the injury was so severe that it required surgery. He underwent the initial surgery in 2009. Unfortunately, the surgeon placed the screws in the wrong location in the man’s spinal canal. This resulted in permanent and complete paralysis.
He underwent a second surgery in order to place the screw correctly. However, the damage had already been done, and there was no going back. He was in serious pain and suffered from numbness and no function of his quadriceps. He is now confined to his wheelchair.
The man and his wife first filed a lawsuit with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They requested $5 million in various damages, but the claim was denied. The VA had not uncovered any negligent acts on the part of the surgeon.
They decided to pursue further legal action and went to federal court. It was in this court that the judge found that the surgeon was negligent. His misplacement of the screw caused permanent and irreversible damage.
The patient was awarded $725,000 in damages. His wife received an award for loss of consortium in the amount of $25,000. New York patients would do well to understand that they do have options in front of them when they have been a victim of medical malpractice. It is crucial for victims to understand their individual rights and available legal options as they decide whether to move forward with a claim. Doing so may help them financially in the future and hold the surgeon responsible for their negligence.
Source: arkansasbusiness.com, “Judge Awards $725K, Turns Screw on VA Hospital in Malpractice Lawsuit“, Oct. 13, 2014