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Family wins $7.9M in connection with botched surgery

William Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, along with a physician and an anesthesiologist, was recently ordered to pay $7.9 million to the family of a woman who died after receiving treatment for a stomach condition. The woman died back in 2009 after undergoing gall bladder surgery.

According to her family, the procedure was botched because the physician failed to place a breathing tube in her throat. The woman reportedly woke up during the surgery before going unconscious, after which she was transferred to another hospital where she went into cardiac arrest. She died during a second cardiac arrest.

The hospital reportedly defended the physician’s actions, arguing that the care provided was appropriate. Following the verdict, the hospital intends to file an appeal. Sources didn’t detail the grounds on which an appeal would be made.

It is important for those who are considering bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit to understand that not all medical errors constitute medical malpractice. In order for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be successful, one has to prove each element of the claim. One important element, of course, is that the physician breached their duty with respect to a recognized standard of care. Again, not every case of error constitutes a breach of the standard of care.

Cases where such a breach has happened can involve serious injury and loss to the patient and his or her family, and it important for patients to be aware of their rights and the possibility of seeking compensation via medical malpractice litigation. 

Source: The Detroit News, “Family wins $7.9M malpractice lawsuit against Beaumont Hospital,” Orlandoar Brand-Williams, June 12, 2014. 

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