Statistics show that most malpractice cases that are brought against hospitals are either settled out of court or mediated, and rarely get to the stage of a jury trial. In some instances, however, all other avenues fail, and a medical malpractice case will go to trial.  Readers in New Mexico may be interested that a large verdict was recently rendered against a hospital and a physician group for medical malpractice and the wrongful death of a newborn baby.

According to an article about the case, a 38-year-old woman who was 35 weeks pregnant sought emergency medical care at a hospital when she began experiencing severe pain in her right side. After lab results and a sonogram, the treating physician accurately diagnosed that the woman was suffering from a hematoma and gallstones. According to experts, the correct course of treatment for a pregnant woman suffering these conditions would be to continue to check its size with additional sonograms. This would allow physicians to determine if the hematoma was expanding or receding.

Instead, the woman’s treating physician in the emergency room gave her a prescription for pain pills and discharged her from the hospital. Around a day later, the woman was found almost unresponsive in her home and was rushed back to the E.R. Because the hematoma had increased drastically in size, her blood volume was down over 50 percent, her kidneys were shutting down and her brain was affected.

Tragically, though the woman lived, her baby did not. Her son had died due to asphyxiation; because of the lack of blood flow and oxygen. After the jury heard the case and deliberated for two days, they reached a verdict. They found the hospital and E.R. physician’s group liable for damages, and awarded $2.5 Million to the woman.

Those in New Mexico facing similar tragic circumstances could benefit from contacting an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice law. Many unexpected expenses can result from wrongful death situation, specifically with regards to medical bills due to hospitalization. Attorneys in this field will be able to discuss the various legal options available to the surviving family members, and can assist in recovering monetary losses as quickly as possible.

Source: kansascity.com, “After death of unborn son, a rare courtroom victory in medical malpractice case“, Eric Adler, June 10, 2016