Medical negligence is an offense that the legal system takes seriously. Practitioners have a duty to go about their work with professionalism and attention to detail, and the biggest settlements and jury verdicts ever are a reflection of society's commitment to trust in the medical industry. Looking at 5 of the largest awards will give you a better sense of just how grave a matter it is.
Falsifying Records to Cover Negligence
During the delivery of a baby in California, a doctor elected to not utilize any of the common procedures used to deal with difficult births, including not trying to time contractions, using forceps, or performing an episiotomy. The infant developed cerebral palsy due to brain injuries, but the hospital refused to accept responsibility and even falsified records to cover for the doctor. With the assistance of a medical negligence attorney, the family was awarded $74.5 million in damages.
A Poorly Equipped Ambulance
While responding to a 911 call involving a 12-year-old girl in New York City in 1998, an EMS crew did not have access to advanced life support equipment. Her transport to the hospital was also delayed, and she developed severe brain damage and paralysis. Fighting until 2014 with the support of a medical negligence attorney, her family was finally awarded a jury judgment of $172 million.
Making an Extra Buck
When a Florida man went to the doctor in 2008 experiencing shoulder and leg cramping, he was told he'd need a joint manipulation procedure that called for anesthesia. The man suffered a stroke and ended up in a coma for four years. A medical negligence attorney was able to get the doctor to admit that he suggested a medically unnecessary procedure in order to bring in a little more money. $38.5 million was awarded to the victim.
Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong
A Florida woman went to a pair of plastic surgeons for a procedure that's commonly called a tummy tuck. The woman developed an infection that led to her losing every finger and much of both of her legs. She sought the help of a medical negligence attorney, and the physicians settled for $30 million in 2007.
Released Too Quickly
A Philadelphia man went to Temple University Hospital for treatment for episodes induced by severe low blood sugar. He was released after two days and suffered severe brain damage. A court-ordered settlement paid out $19 million.