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Paralyzed man settles in hospital negligence case

Hospital mistakes are often caused by lack of training and the negligence of doctors and medical staff. In Illinois, patients have been injured or have died each year due to hospital negligence. In a different state, a medical center reached a settlement to pay a man over $4 million.

In 2010, the former patient was injured in a motorcycle accident and was sent to a medical center. During his stay, medical staff performed a surgery due to a ruptured aorta and used a stent-graft in the procedure. In 2011, the man was admitted to a different hospital after he collapsed while playing basketball. He lost feeling in the lower part of his body and his condition continued to get worse over two days. It was eventually discovered that there was a clot in the stent which was cutting off circulation to parts of his lower body.

He underwent surgery, but regrettably, his condition had deteriorated too much and he was left paralyzed. The Board of Supervisors with Los Angeles County agreed to pay the man $4.5 million. The man also asked for his costs for treatment to be waived. Since then, the county has launched a corrective action plan that would include increased communication between health care providers and also better transition of care.

Proper communication among health care staff is often overlooked but is essential when caring for patients. As with this case, poor communication along with negligence likely caused the man to be paralyzed. Individuals in Illinois, who are injured due to hospital negligence, retain the right to pursue medical malpractice claims under the law. When negligence is established to the satisfaction of the court presiding over the matter, individuals could be compensated for financial damage and pain and suffering.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "L.A. County settles medical malpractice case for $4.5 million", Jean Merl, March 31, 2015

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