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Woman wins hospital negligence case after amputation

A woman who lost her limbs after septic shock filed a lawsuit. Regrettably, many Illinois residents are injured each year due to hospital negligence. Reportedly, this woman’s condition went undetected which ultimately led to her amputation. Recently, a jury awarded over $25 million to the woman and her husband.

Back in 2011, the woman went to the hospital due to abdominal pain and a fast heartbeat. She was informed later on that she should see a gynecologist about a fibroid condition, but she was suffering from a strep infection that was not detected by doctors. She collapsed while she was at home, and the infection led to septic shock -- resulting in the amputation of all four limbs. According to the lawsuit, the woman was never informed that she could possibly have a severe bacterial infection; otherwise she would have obtained further treatment.

The jury determined that the doctor and the physician assistant did not inform the woman of the alternative medical diagnosis. The jury awarded $15 million for pain and suffering and another $1.5 million to her husband for loss of companionship. The case is expected to be appealed in the future since the state law caps noneconomic damages to $750,000.

Regrettably, hospital negligence is the cause of many patient injuries. In this case, it is possible that the woman could have been saved the amputations if the doctor or physician assistant had informed of other diagnosis from the beginning. Illinois patients who were injured due to doctor mistakes may have the right to file medical malpractice claims against the medical staff and/or hospital. Taking the right legal action could result in compensatory damages being awarded.

Source: jsonline.com, "Jury awards Milwaukee woman $25.3 million in medical malpractice case", Cary Spivak, July 7, 2014

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