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Mercy Springfield ordered to pay $28.9M for hospital negligence

Out-of-state Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities has been ordered by a jury to pay $28.9 million in a lawsuit. The plaintiff in the hospital negligence case is a 25-year-old woman who argued that the health care system failed to diagnose her with a rare disorder in time to keep her from prolonged suffering from the disease. That jury decided that the hospital's failure to diagnose that illness amounted to negligence. Medical malpractice is also an issue in Louisiana.

The plaintiff sued Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities, as well as a doctor who worked at the hospital. The doctor of internal medicine was later dismissed from the lawsuit. The trial started in February. On Friday, March 3, after two hours of deliberation, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The judgement includes $511,000 for past economic damages, including medical bills, $1 million for past non-economic damages, $21 million for medical damages she may have in the future, $3.2 million for economic damages she may have in the future, not including medical damages, and $3.2 million for non-economic damages she may have in the future.

The plaintiff was once a soccer player at Glendale High School. She was diagnosed with Wilson's Disease, which causes too much copper to accumulate in a person's vital organs. As a result of the late diagnosis, the plaintiff now has brain damage, motor and speech impairment, and many other issues, including the need to be fed through a tube. The plaintiff alleged that the hospital failed to take her and her mother seriously when they repeatedly told doctors that she needed an MRI and a neurological exam. The doctor claimed that she was just suffering from anxiety and depression.

In Louisiana, as in other states, a hospital negligence claim can be filed if doctors and employees of a hospital fail to diagnose a patient, resulting in permanent damage. Too often, patients are sent home with a false diagnosis and left to deal with future medical problems that could have been avoided with a proper and timely diagnosis. For those who have had this happen to them, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can seek recompense to help with the resulting medical expenses.

Source: news-leader.com, "Jury orders Mercy Springfield to pay $28.9 million in negligence lawsuit", Thomas Gounley, March 8, 2017

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