A wrongful death lawsuit is generally a case brought against an entity or a person who has caused the death of another human being because of a wrongful act or negligence. Wrongful death claims are generally filed by the surviving spouse of the deceased, his/her surviving children or other people who benefit from the estate of the deceased. But there are certain exceptional situations where others can also bring wrongful death actions. These circumstances can be identified by a wrongful death attorney. Proving the defendant wrong in such a suit is an uphill task, more so when the plaintiff raises an action because of medical malpractice.
Take an actual case of the way the odds are stacked in favor of the medical profession. A California resident had a relatively minor motorcycle accident and was treated at a hospital for broken ribs. Surprisingly after five days the patient died.
The cause was later identified as ‘ileus’, a reasonably common condition where the gastrointestinal tract of the patient had shut down. This was something the attending doctor had failed to identify because of negligent monitoring. Because of ‘ileus’, fluid accumulated in the patient’s abdomen causing it to swell and become distended.
A Massive Mistake
The doctor stated that throughout the patient’s stay in hospital he had physically examined him, pressed on the abdominal area and found nothing adverse to suggest such a problem. The widow however claimed the doctor had never palpated her husband’s abdomen.
At the trial an expert testified that the patient’s life could have been saved through a simple procedure of using a nasogastric tube to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure.
The doctor conceded that the case should be settled but his insurance company refused.
The Big Picture
The case went to trial when the jury awarded the widow nearly $7.5 million for lost earnings and emotional damage. However $6 million of the award toward emotional damage was reduced to $250,000 by the judge because of a ‘cap’ for non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases under a salient California law. In this case though the money was well-deserved but there has been a plenitude of times in America where someone deserved compensation and they receive a ridiculous amount that is irrational.
In this case, the doctor should have lost their license and this amount was accurate and should have been delivered.