A medical malpractice suit has ended in the victim's favor in New Albany, Indiana, and a new case has been filed in Taylor County, Kentucky. The first case altered a young woman's life forever, and the second case took the life of a woman completely.
A 21-year-old woman went to Floyd Memorial Hospital because of abdominal pain on June 5, 2003. She was told by Dr. William Garner that she required surgery the next day. Dr. Garner changed his mind about the surgery the next day, then left for the weekend. By June 8th, the patient's condition had dramatically worsened and she had emergency surgery to remove her bowel. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit contending that if the doctor had continued to have her monitored in his absence, her need to have surgery would have been discovered sooner and more of her bowel could have been saved.
As a result of the delayed surgery, the suit alleges that the victim's life has been negatively affected. She finds it impossible to work. Her body processes food in 30 minutes, rather than the normal six to eight hours, so she is unable to obtain proper nutrition from the things she eats. She also suffers from bloating.
In January, 2012, the jury agreed with the victim and awarded her $1.5 million in damages.
The amount was reduced by the courts to $1.25 million due to a state limit on medical malpractice awards. Some may think a jury of the victim's peers may have not been fair because they are not in the medical profession. But Indiana requires all medical malpractice claims to be reviewed by a panel of three impartial doctors before they can go to trial, and all three agreed with the victim and allowed the case to go to trial.
In Kentucky, a man has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit claiming gross negligence against Taylor County EMS for allegedly causing the death of his wife. The victim was suffering from pneumonia in December 2010 at a hospital in Campbellsville, Kentucky, and needed to be transported to Norton Hospital in Louisville. Taylor County EMS began transporting her, but they realized they had run out of oxygen, so they changed course to Hardin Memorial Hospital. Once she arrived at Norton, the victim was put on a ventilator, but she died 11 days later. The husband contends that his wife was deprived of oxygen in the ambulance for around 20 minutes and was in shock when they arrived at the Hardin hospital. He claims she never recognized him again.
The victim's husband is asking for an undisclosed amount of damages, both to cover his emotional and financial distress, and to punish the EMS service in the hopes that they will be more careful in the future and this situation will not happen again.
This suit was filed in December 2011, just a few days before the one-year deadline to file a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or a wrongful death due to a potential medical error, it is important to speak to an experienced Indiana or Kentucky medical malpractice attorney. The lawyers at Miller & Falkner are knowledgeable in the laws in both states and can assist you in filing a claim.
Jury awards $1.5 million in medical malpractice suit; News and Tribune; MATT THACKER; January 20, 2012
Campbellsville man suing for negligence after alleged lack of oxygen causes wife's death; WHAS; February 1, 2012