A great deal of responsibility falls on jurors to decide first: if a defendant is guilty of the charges against them, and second: how liable they actually are in the event they are found guilty. When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, putting a price on injuries and pain can seem especially impossible for jurors, since no one can truly quantify the value of health and well-being. However, that is exactly what one Brooklyn, New York, jury was asked to do recently.
After listening to the medical malpractice trial for two weeks, the jury ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff in the case. Their three-day deliberation resulted in the decision that the victim should receive damages in the amount of $62 million. $4 million of that award is for the victim’s medical costs; $20 million is for the pain she has already suffered; lastly, $38 million is for any suffering she may endure in the future as a result of her permanent disability.
For its part, the hospital named as the defendant in the case continues to argue that its physicians took every measure to save the woman’s life. The plaintiff claimed and the jury agreed, however, that it was the actions and negligence of hospital physicians that resulted in the woman sustaining life-threatening medical complications.
It was determined that it was mistakes made during and after the laparoscopic procedure performed on the plaintiff that caused her to develop a serious infection and blood poisoning, along with gangrene. Both of the woman’s legs were amputated from the knee down and she sustained severe hearing loss as well.
It is hoped that the plaintiff can move on with her life now that she feels a sense of justice.
Source: International Business Times, “Stacey Galette Lawsuit: Double Amputee Awarded $62M After Routine Surgery Leaves Her Without Legs, Brooklyn Mom ‘Happy Justice Was Served’,” Philip Ross, Jan. 11, 2014