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Disabled woman awarded $26 million in medical malpractice suit

Patients and doctors across Louisiana breathe a sigh of relief when a surgery is successfully completed. In their relief, some may forget, if only temporarily, that it is possible for problems to arise after the surgery is over. One woman was recently awarded $26 million in a medical malpractice suit where her surgeons were determined to be responsible for injuries that resulted in her becoming permanently disabled. 

The victim, a former runner, underwent a common neck surgery in Oct. 2012. Initially, the surgery appeared to go as planned, but problems began to arise the following day when the patient began to complain of trouble swallowing. It was indicated that there was a large bubble stuck in the patient's windpipe. However, because she was not complaining of difficulty breathing doctors chose not to act. 

Later that same month the woman returned to the hospital. In addition to her continued difficulty swallowing, her neck was also swollen and she was in pain. Her difficulty swallowing had gotten so bad that the victim was unable to swallow her own saliva. Even though the hospital policy is to see patients within two hours of their arrival, it was around six hours before the patient was seen by her doctor. 

Because her doctors failed to act, this woman is no longer able to live independently. She is now blind and is confined to a wheelchair. The former runner now has limited use of her legs and she also has trouble grasping objects in her hands. Her disabilities now require her to have constant care.

Injuries that are the result of a doctor's mistake or a doctor's failure to act can permanently alter a person's life. Victims of these mistakes may be entitled to compensation for unexpected medical costs, loss of income, future medical costs, pain and suffering, or funeral costs if necessary. Louisiana patients who are considering filing a medical malpractice suit could benefit from contacting a local attorney. 

Source:, "St. Francis to pay $26M in medical malpractice suit", Dec. 11, 2017

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