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Hospital joins in $4.2 million medical malpractice settlement

In Louisiana and other states, monetary compensation may be of slight comfort to those who have lost a dear loved one to unnecessary medical negligence. The grief of losing a young male family leader may be debilitating generally for the family survivors. For example, in a recent medical malpractice case that settled for $4.2 million, the young widow stated that she would "give anything" to get her husband back.

In that matter, the 32-year-old male victim went to an emergency room with a sore throat and ended up dead. The sore throat was reportedly caused by an abscess in the man's tonsils. When examined by an ear, nose and throat specialist at the defendant medical center, he was administered an inappropriate and excessive dosage of a sedative drug, according to the widow's attorney.

It was alleged that the doctor failed to apprise whether there were any risks in the man's airways, and that there was no anesthesiologist present to conduct an examination. His airway was compromised by the swollen tonsils, which could have been observed on proper examination. Essentially, he was suffocated by lack of oxygen when an excessive amount of the sedative was pumped into his airway. The settlement was jointly announced at a press conference attended by the plaintiff and a spokesman for the defendant health center.

The health center spokesman stated that significant changes were made at the institution to prevent any recurrences. Although he declined to elaborate on the changes, the posture taken during resolution of this medical malpractice case is commendable. The medical providers' active acceptance of liability and the expression of willingness to take on change, is likely to be a critical key for the future. Such cooperation in seeking improvements is possibly the single most important change that can help to repair a health care system currently struggling with staggering reports of negligence nationwide, including in Louisiana.  

Source:, "Family reaches $4.2 million settlement with Waianae Coast health center", Rosemarie Bernardo, Sept. 14, 2016

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