Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) May 4, 2012 - A patient with migraines gets a cerebral angiogram. She was not told about the risks, or why she had to have the procedure.
“In this case, a 43-year-old woman agreed to have a medical procedure done to attempt to determine the cause of her life-long migraines. She had several MRIs and other non-invasive medical tests, but the doctors decided she should have a cerebral angiogram. They thought it would tell them what was causing her headaches. She went along with that idea, because they were doctors, and they should know what they are doing,” explained Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of Mellino Robenalt LLC, in Ohio.
As it turned out, the procedure where a dye is injected into a vein to look at images of the brain went awry. The woman had a bad reaction and stroked out. Additionally, no one apparently took the time to tell her that the test was highly invasive and very risky. This medical malpractice case went to trial, with several medical experts testifying the cerebral angiogram was not medically necessary, largely because that procedure would tell the doctors nothing that they already didn’t know as a result of the non-invasive tests.
“In other words, the doctors saying they were hunting for a vein that was causing migraine headaches was referred to as ‘baloney’ by the experts. The jury agreed that the hospital, and the doctors, were negligent in their treatment and care, and awarded the woman $22 million. They also felt she had not been able to provide informed consent, because no one took the time to inform her of the risks,” Mellino indicated.
The woman was in a come for six weeks, and the prognosis cautious optimism. On waking from her coma, the patient discovered she was paralyzed on her right side, and only had a limited range of motion on the left. Her previous life, filled with caring for her two small children and acting as a property manager, were over. “She now requires around the clock care.”
The verdict included $2 million for past financial losses and medical expenses, $14 million for the loss of future income and the plaintiff’s care and $6 million for the unbearable pain and suffering she lives with on a daily basis. “Outrageously, the pain and suffering award would be capped at $250,000, in the name of tort reform, which is unjust and penalizes the innocent victim,” Mellino insisted. The capped amount will barely pay for one year’s medical bills, as the plaintiff’s yearly costs for care runs between $300,000 and $350,000.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue in our society today, and it appears that politicians want to continue to alleviate doctors, and other medical practitioners, of the burden of being responsible for their actions. This is a travesty of justice. “If you are in a situation where you have been the victim of medical malpractice, we need to talk. There is a lot of ground to cover in this complex and contentious area of law,” added Mellino.
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