Last month, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah sued a New York orthopedic surgeon and hospital for medical malpractice following botched treatment and surgery for an undisclosed condition. In his claim, Noah alleges that medical staff failed to:
- Properly examine and correctly diagnose the condition
- Properly treat the condition
- Prescribe appropriate medications
- Discontinue certain prescription medications
- Refer him to specialists with the necessary skill and training to treat his illness
- Provide appropriate medical treatment – which included negligent performance of exams and surgery
- Obtain his informed consent for the treatment
The lawsuit goes on to describe all of the ways in which the alleged negligence has adversely impacted Noah’s life – claiming “permanent, severe and grievous” personal injuries. Over the four-month period that Noah was treated by the facility, the suit claims he suffered serious physical pain, acute nervous shock, severe emotional distress as well as mental anguish. Noah was also bedridden and unable to work or leave the house for a long time. In addition, the permanent nature of some of his injuries will have a lasting impact on him in the future.
How could this translate into damages?
If Noah is successful in his lawsuit, there are a variety of elements in this case that could all increase his potential award for damages. In calculating pain and suffering for medical malpractice cases, the court will generally consider such factors as:
- Physical pain
- Any long-lasting discomfort resulting from medical treatment
- Mental anguish or emotional stressors resulting from the injury
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Cost of necessary past and future medical care
- Loss of ability to work and resulting loss of income
In the Trevor Noah case, many of the above factors apply. This could lead to a higher payout if his lawsuit is successful.