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Family awarded $1 million for hospital negligence

Two women filed a lawsuit against a hospital on behalf of their family member, who had just undergone surgery. Illinois residents may want to read about the hospital that apparently waited too long to save a woman who was choking. According to the jury's finding, the staff's lack of urgency ultimately caused the woman's death, resulting in the award in the case of hospital negligence.

Back in 2008, a woman went to a medical center to undergo thyroid surgery. Following the surgery, the woman was transferred to the medical-surgical unit where she was observed to be experiencing breathing problems. The breathing issues signaled that there was a possible obstruction in her airway. Two of her family members were in the room at the time and noticed a call was made by the nurse asking for the help of the rapid assessment team at 6:46 p.m.

According to the lawsuit, the surgeon did not enter the patient's room until after 7 p.m. While he was in the room, her breathing ceased. The patient was pronounced dead only a little over a week later. The jury reached a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, but the award was decreased to $250,000 due to a medical malpractice cap in the state.

Individuals who lose their loved ones while they are under hospital care are undoubtedly traumatized. This is particularly true when their loved ones died right in front of their eyes as a result of inadequate care. In order for damages to be awarded for trauma, families must provide proof that they knew what the injury was and what caused it. Families who are faced with hospital negligence retain the rights to file medical malpractice claims against the physicians and/or facilities where the patients were being treated. An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Illinois can help navigate through the process and answer any questions a victim's family members have.

Source: sfgate.com, "2 who watched relative choke win case against Berkeley hospital", Bob Egelko, Feb. 24, 2015

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