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Family recovers compensation in lawsuit centered on man’s death


Surgical mistakes are a sad reality in the medical profession. No matter how many safety measures are put in place or how trained doctors are before they enter the profession, human error will likely always be a risk factor for patients. Yet, in order to ensure patient safety, we rightly expect error free medical care. Anything less could result in injuries or death. Those responsible for such harm should pay for the damage they have caused.

One hospital has been held accountable for its wrong-doing after trying to cover-up the cause of one of its patient’s deaths. According to a successful lawsuit levied against the hospital, the victim went under the knife to have a cervical spine disk issue remedied. Yet, shortly after the operation, the victim developed tell-tale signs of a hematoma, a blood pocket in the throat. Unfortunately, though, the doctor only treated the victim for a sore throat. The victim later died.

Though a jury did narrowly favored against a finding of medical malpractice, it did find the hospital tried to cover-up the cause of death by saying the victim was killed by a fatty liver. The deceased man’s surviving family was awarded $4 million for emotional distress.

Anytime an individual is killed by a medical mistake, his or her family may face challenges. These difficulties can take the form of emotional hardship and financial instability. Combined, these two issues can make it hard for a family to move on and it can leave them feeling they were irreparably harmed.

Though compensation can never bring a loved one back, it can help provide financial security and comfort. In an attempt to recover this money, those who suffer the loss of a loved should examine the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An Oregon attorney can help a surviving family attempt to show negligence caused their loved one’s death, thereby giving them the chance of recovering much needed compensation. As with the case discussed above, even if a jury does not find medical malpractice occurred, other facts may exist that can lead to a recovery. It is best for a surviving family to speak with a professional about all legal options available.

Source: The Tribune, “Jury awards $4 million in lawsuit over death after surgery at Sierra Vista hospital,” Patrick S. Pemberton, March 5, 2014