Botched Surgery Leads To $109 Million Award For Florida Woman
A Florida woman who went in to get a benign cyst removed got more than she bargained for when her hands and feet had to be removed as well. The woman sued for medical malpractice and a jury recently awarded her $109 million in damages.
The 52-year-old woman had the surgery performed in November 2010 at Tampa General Hospital. She suffered numerous complications from the surgery, including gangrene, which caused her feet and hands to be amputated. Her small intestine was almost severed during the surgery, and she now suffers from constant abdominal pain.
The botched surgery forced the woman to give up her career and spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She now spends her time in a rehabilitation center in St. Petersburg.
The woman’s court battle is not over yet, though. In order to receive the $109 million award, the woman must first go through the Florida Legislature and get a claim bill passed. Currently, government entities such as schools are protected from malpractice suits thanks to the state’s sovereign immunity law. Under this law, damages are capped at $100,000.
The University of South Florida, which employed the surgeon, is looking to appeal the case. They believe the verdict is not supported by the evidence.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to mistakes caused by the negligence of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and other medical staff. The errors may occur during diagnosis, treatment or aftercare. These medical mistakes happen more often than you may think. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed by medical malpractice every year.
While doctors have an immense amount of education and skill under their belts, they cannot diagnose every disease. Sometimes they cause minor injuries during a surgery. Complications can happen no matter how experienced a doctor may be.
Not every issue is considered medical malpractice. A medical malpractice claim involves these four elements:
- Duty owed. The doctor or hospital had a duty to the patient.
- Breach of the standard of care. It’s difficult to define what exactly a standard of care would be in each case, but it basically refers to what a health care professional with the same experience would do in the same situation. What would be considered acceptable medical treatment in such a case?
- Injury caused by negligence. Even if the doctor breached the standard of care, the patient would need to have suffered some sort of injury in order to file a claim.
- Significant damages. Medical malpractice claims are costly and time-consuming to fight. Therefore, lawyers typically do not handle such cases unless they lead to a long-term injury, disability or death.
Get Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
Doctors have a duty to treat patients in a manner that meets or exceeds the standard of care. The removal of a cyst should not lead to amputation under any circumstance.
If you have been seriously injured by a physician during a surgical procedure, the Dade City medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group can help. Our experienced lawyers will help with your claim by fighting aggressively for your legal rights. You may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (800) 557-0411.