Doctor’s negligence may have caused Pennsylvania man’s death

When a member of your family is diagnosed with a serious condition, you expect doctors to do everything they can to help. You may turn to a Philadelphia hospital for major surgery or treatment in order to provide the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, hospital wrongful death happens too often, as even once is too much. Losing a loved one is never easy, no matter what the circumstances are.

Almost exactly 10 years ago, a Murrysville man entered a Pennsylvania hospital for surgery on a brain tumor or abscess. He never left, and his grieving family believes the doctor’s actions, or lack thereof, is the reason. After two trials and an effort by the hospital to delay payment, the man’s estate now stands to receive the largest medical malpractice award in Allegheny County in the last 13 years.

The family appealed an initial $2.5 million award in the hopes that a judge would include the man’s future earnings into the damages. During the second trial, the hospital reversed its argument. The night before his scheduled surgery, the man’s eyes were fixed and dilated, which signaled that his condition was worsening. A nurse called the neurosurgeon, who neither went to the hospital nor ordered emergency treatment. The man died the next day.

During the first trial, the hospital’s attorneys said the facility provided quality care and the man would have survived had his condition not worsened so quickly. During the second trial, lawyers changed their tune, saying the man’s situation was so grave he would not have been able to work. Jurors then granted $10 million in damages, which sky rocketed to $13 million when the hospital tried to delay payment.

While money will not bring back a loved one, it can help a family to feel that justice has been served for negligence. Doctor errors can have grave consequences, and it is important for families affected by wrongful death to pursue their legal rights to the fullest. An attorney can help ensure a family or an estate gets the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Source: UPI, “Pittsburgh hospital must pay $14.2 million malpractice award,” Nov. 5, 2013

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