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Updated November 4, 2019
A jury in Milwaukee has awarded a woman $25.3 million in a medical malpractice case that involves the failure of a doctor and a physician’s assistant to provide an alternative diagnosis. She was told that her severe abdominal pain, rapid heartbeat, and fever was the result of fibroid issues that she needed to consult her gynecologist for. What she actually had was strep A infection, the type which causes strep throat, that caused her to go into septic shock and resulted in the amputation of all of her limbs.
The malpractice was not that the doctor and the physician’s assistant were negligent but that they failed to inform her of the alternative possibility for which she might have sought treatment. A course of antibiotics would have headed off the infection, hence the septic shock and amputation.
There are two aspects to the case that are of interest besides the horrible severity of the woman’s injuries. First, her case was litigated under a previous informed consent law that required doctors to be more forthcoming about what can and cannot be told a patient. A new law was signed by Governor Scott Walker subsequent to the case that lowered the bar for what should be told to a patient and thus may have made it impossible for the woman to win a malpractice suit.
Second, the award is a direct challenger of Wisconsin’s cap on pain and suffering awards. A total of $8.2 million was awarded for past and future medical costs for the woman. An additional $15 million was for pain and suffering and $1.5 million for the her husband’s loss of companionship. However, Wisconsin law limits non-economic damages to $750,000. The defendants are expected to appeal the award as a result.
In Indiana, the amount of damages that an injured patient can obtain in a medical malpractice lawsuit is limited by a state statute. An injured patient can obtain a maximum of $250,000 in damages. If an injured person’s damages exceeds $250,000, then the patient must petition the Patient’s Compensation Fund for additional funds.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you build a case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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