Out-of-state Hospital Pays out Massive Judgment for Botched Weight-loss Surgery
A patient went into an out-of-state hospital for a common weight-loss surgery called gastric bypass surgery. This is actually a very dangerous surgery and requires expert observation afterwards to ensure there are not complications which could be life threatening or disabling. These surgeries work to shrink the stomach by dividing it in half which effectively limits how much a patient can eat, and then rearranging the small intestine to connect to the two chambers of the stomach (one being used and the one blocked off) while also working to limit the amount of food digested. In addition to infection, there are a lot of really serious health complications that could result from this.
Here, after the patient had this complicated and dangerous surgery, his follow-up treatment was quite insufficient to insure his safety. In fact, in the several weeks after the surgery is when he received poor if even any treatment. The patient suffered complications and serious health issues which now leave him NEARLY BLIND, UNABLE TO SPEAK, and permanently in a WHEELCHAIR!!!!
Granted, this procedure is dangerous in and of itself, however there are certain factors that lead to medical negligence. Particularly the fact that the lawyers representing the patient and his family discovered that “[t]he doctor in this case shouldn’t have been doing the surgery and should not have been managing this patient because he did not have proper credentials to do this surgery.” This explains that—while the operation itself was completed successfully—the doctor and team were not properly trained in the aftercare. The aftercare, in some cases such as this, is the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of the surgery!
In this case, the compensate for the pain and suffering of the patient and his family, outrageous medical treatment, and as a deterrence so the hospital and medical staff does not continue to say they are qualified to handle gastric bypass cases, the jury returned a massive $168 million dollars and an additional $10 million in punitive damages. This sounds like a money, and I have not found a lot of facts about this case, but for an award of punitive damages there must be SIGNIFICANT misconduct by a medical staff. It is VERY, VERY HARD to get punitive damages and just the fact that the jury awarded them means the doctor, staff, and hospital really did something very wrong.
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