A woman in Kentucky went in to get laparoscopic bypass surgery, which is used as a method of weight loss for those whose weight could pose other health issues. She suffered an abdominal leak, and she had to go in for a second surgery. After that one was carried out, the woman passed away in December of 2010. Now the woman's family has won their lawsuit against the surgeon and hospital.
Many issues were brought up in the malpractice case that raised questions of the surgeon's competence. For one thing, there are multiple other lawsuits pending against him. These and other incidents should have been red flags to the medical facility, but they allowed him to keep practicing.
Another issue was that the hospital appeared, with its aggressive advertising, to be trying to draw in new patients, even if they were being put into an unsafe environment. This was used as evidence of the mindset of profit over lives.
The jury unanimously agreed with the family's claims that the surgeon was responsible for the woman's death, and they recommended an award of $10.6 million in compensation. They found that the hospital should be responsible for 60 percent of that judgment and the surgeon must pay the remaining 40 percent. The judge still has to approve the judgment amount.
When incompetent doctors are involved in mistakes that lead to serious injury or death, the families of those who were harmed have a right to search for both justice and compensation from the offending doctors and the clinics or hospitals where they are employed.
Source: McCreary County Record, "$10.6 million judgment returned in medical malpractice lawsuit" Heather Tomlinson, Apr. 01, 2014