Botched medical procedures cause obvious damage to the victim's body; however, many people don't realize the damage that is also inflicted upon the victim's social life, loved ones and working life. Juries must consider these things when awarding a verdict in any malpractice case stemming from doctor negligence.
Two weeks ago, this blog discussed a case stemming from a man that underwent surgery in May 2008 for a herniated disc in Santa Fe. During the surgery, an artery and a vein were cut but by the operating surgeon. No one noticed the mistake until the man went into cardiac arrest three days after the surgery. Consequently, his nervous system was damaged, which caused control issues with his bowels and bladder. He suffered through numerous surgeries to correct the problems that arose from the botched surgery, and he suffered brain damage that hindered his daily life and that of his wife at the time.
This man's resulting medical malpractice lawsuit against the Santa Fe hospital which performed the surgery ended recently in a $2 million award for the victim. Additionally, the damages resulted in the victim and his wife divorcing. As a result, she was also awarded $50,000 as compensation for the pain and suffering that she experienced while supporting him during the entire ordeal after she testified that the botched surgery changed her ex-husband so much that their marriage could not survive.
This successful medical malpractice case shows that when doctors error in New Mexico, they need to be held accountable. Mistakes can radically alter the course of an individual's entire existence, and in some instances compensation could be in order.
Source: The Republic, "Santa Fe jury awards man $2 million from hospital for botched back surgery," Associated Press, Sept. 8, 2012