While it didn't occur in New Mexico, a $62 million medical malpractice verdict is worth noting. Because of a claimed surgical error for an ectopic pregnancy, a woman ended up having both legs amputated, required a colostomy, and lost most of her hearing.
During the surgical procedure that took place in 2009, the woman's bowel was apparently perforated during the procedure. She complained about abdominal pain following the surgery, but the hospital still sent her home. As the pain worsened, she returned the next day only to be diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction.
Several days later the woman became septic. At some point she was treated with powerful antibiotics and this resulted in her hearing loss.
Eventually she brought a suit against her treating physicians and the hospital. A jury awarded her $20 million for past pain and suffering, another $38 million concerning future pain and suffering, and $4 million regarding costs of treatment.
It's important to remember how devastating surgical errors can be. As the consequences can be long-lasting, it's often necessary to consult with experienced medical malpractice attorneys in order to make certain that compensation is adequate.
It often requires a knowledgeable attorney in this area to be able to prove up these sorts of cases, however. It's not always easy to bring such a lawsuit against doctors or hospitals. These cases are complicated and can often take a long period of time to resolve. Medical providers will also often attempt to take advantage of every procedural option before actually paying compensation.
Though a verdict was rendered in the above case, the matter is not yet over. The defendants that were sued have now made a motion to have the verdict set aside.
Source: New York Law Journal, "Jury Awards $62 Million in Medical Malpractice Case," Brendan Pierson, Jan. 14, 2014