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Woman awarded $12M in medical malpractice claim

Massachusetts residents may have read about a hospital in a neighboring state that was recently ordered to pay a patient $12 million. The patient's medical malpractice claim was filed as the result of a surgical error in 2008. The woman still has lasting issues.

In 2008, the woman went into the hospital for a hernia operation that should have been routine. However, one of the two surgeons present perforated her colon. Neither surgeon noticed the rupture prior to completing the surgical procedure.

The woman developed a substantial abdominal infection, which sent her into septic shock; her heart stopped and she suffered from organ failure. She ultimately slipped into a coma, which lasted for nearly a month. She required additional surgeries in order to correct the problem, including having a large percentage of her colon removed. The patient's abdominal issues persist to this day. She is unable to digest food properly as well.

The patient's claims against one doctor were settled prior to the trial. Despite this, the Connecticut hospital claims that it was the other doctor who actually made the mistake that led to the woman's issues. Since he was a surgical resident at the time, the hospital claims it should not be held responsible for his actions. The jury disagreed, and the hospital may appeal their decision.

No matter how routine a surgical procedure is said to be, mistakes can occur. When they do happen and a Massachusetts patient suffers permanent injury as a result, a medical malpractice claim may be filed. Any financial restitution received could provide for the current and future medical needs of the victim.

Source: insurancejournal.com, "Connecticut Hospital Ordered to Pay $12M in Medical Malpractice Case", Dave Collins, June 2, 2014

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