When a doctor in New York makes a mistake while tending to a patient, the results can be permanent damage. One man in another state said his anesthesiologist caused him to suffer damage to his spinal cord, resulting in paralysis, during a surgery in 2012. He filed a medical malpractice suit and was recently awarded more than $9 million in the case.
The 51-year-old man, who used to work as a car mechanic, said he went to a hospital with symptoms resembling those of the flu. There, he received fluids to address his dehydration. Doctors then discovered his injury -- a perforated bowel -- and suggested that he undergo surgery. However, his dehydration treatment was suspended when he was given anesthesia one hour prior to the surgery. This reportedly caused the man's blood pressure to plummet, and his spinal cord failed to receive enough blood flow.
The man said his injury caused him to lose function in his legs. Although he tried to return to work, he ended up having to sell his business. The anesthesiology practice that worked with the man said this was not the cause of his injury. However, a jury ruled in the man's favor, awarding him $9.1 million. The plaintiff said the money he was awarded may help him to replace his wheelchair and continue therapy.
Anesthesiologists and other doctors in New York are expected to exercise a reasonable degree of care when treating patients. If they do not perform in line with this standard, they may be held liable for any harm patients suffer as a result. An injured patient has the right to file a civil suit, based upon proof of negligence, seeking damages that, if achieved, may help him or her address the financial losses suffered due to the documented incident of medical malpractice.
Source: washingtontimes.com, "Mechanic wins $9.1 million in medical malpractice lawsuit", Oct. 17, 2015