A $4 million verdict was recently handed down in an out-of-state medical malpractice case. The case involved an elderly man who had fallen down in a long-term care facility and later died. His daughter later filed a medical malpractice suit against that facility and won. Pennsylvania residents who believe they have been the victims of medical malpractice are legally entitled to do the same.
The suit was filed by the daughter of the man, as she was the executor of his estate. It was filed in September 2007, shortly after her father, a 77-year-old man, was found lying on his room’s floor after he had fallen. According to a medical statement that addressed the man’s medical records and a state investigation, the man was considered to be at higher risk for falling and was to be restrained. The suit alleged that the hospital breached its standard of care by leaving him unrestrained. This alleged breach resulted in his death, which occurred less than 12 hours after the fall.
The hospital defended itself, claiming that the patient’s medical records were not correct. They claimed no responsibility for his fall or death. They even argued that, when used in a medical context, the word “fall” has a different definition.
The jury decided that this wasn’t a case of semantics and the hospital had indeed been in the wrong. The $4 million they awarded was decided to be assessed as punitive damages in order to help deter similar mistakes from ever taking place again. Pennsylvania victims of medical malpractice — or their families — typically file medical malpractice suits when similar events occur that lead to patients’ harm or death. They typically begin this process by consulting an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: dothaneagle.com, “Jury awards $4 million in malpractice lawsuit against Dothan medical facility“, Matt Elofson, March 28, 2016