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Brain-damaged patient and wife receive $31.5 million award

People in New Mexico may be interested to learn about a recent case that occurred in Rhode Island in which a hospital was ordered to pay a man and his wife $25.6 million plus an additional $5.9 million in interest, bringing the total medical malpractice award to $31.5 million. The case alleged that the hospital was negligent in the care provided to the man, who suffered permanently disabling brain damage as a result.

The hospital's parent company said that it will not appeal the jury verdict and award in the case. The company acknowledged that it had been negligent and that its negligence caused the man's debilitating injuries. The man was awarded $15 million for the pain and suffering he experienced as a result of his injury. He additionally was awarded $5.6 million for his associated medical costs, and the jury awarded his wife $5 million as well. The $5.9 million interest was ordered by the Superior Court.

Reportedly, the man had gone to the hospital after suffering from a head injury. According to the hospital, its staff members misdiagnosed the man. They also did not perform examinations, conduct any follow-up or check on him while he was a patient there, leading to the permanent and irreversible brain damage he suffered.

When poor management or supervision of medical staff in a hospital leads to a patient being seriously injured, both the practitioners involved as well as the facility itself may be named as defendants in a subsequent medical malpractice lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, those who are injured may seek the recovery of damages designed to compensate them for both their noneconomic as well as their economic losses that they suffered as a result.

Source: Healthcare Finance, "Rhode Island Hospital to pay $25.6 million over negligence," Susan Morse, May 15, 2015.

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