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Mother’s death at hospital leads to $10.9M verdict

Most residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania would likely agree that money is not a replacement for the loss of a loved one. Despite this, the family of a 34-year-old woman who died shortly after a medical procedure is likely please with the verdict that was recently rendered in the medical malpractice lawsuit filed after her death. They received close to $10.9 million.

The woman underwent a cardiac catheterization that was characterized as "routine" at a hospital after first seeking medical attention for bronchitis. When tests that were run at that time uncovered possible heart issues, she had the procedure. It was during that procedure that a doctor operating on the woman dissected one of the heart's coronary arteries with the catheter. This ultimately led to blood not getting to the heart. It took nearly an hour for the woman to be taken into surgery to try to repair the mistake.

Unfortunately, despite the medical procedures taken at that point, the woman succumbed to her injuries. In addition to her husband, the woman left behind three children ranging in age from five to 11.

The claim the woman’s family filed asserted that the hospital and the doctor who was caring for the woman failed to “take timely or appropriate actions” to address the complications that arose out of the catheterization procedure. The jury apparently agreed. The individuals who made up the jury voted 11-1 to award the nearly $10.9 million in compensatory damages.

It will undoubtedly be difficult for the children left behind to grow-up without a mother there to help guide them through difficult situations and provide comfort when they are sad. Hopefully however the outcome of the personal injury lawsuit will bring some closure and make it a bit easier for them to move forward with their lives.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “St. Louis County jury awards $10.8 million medical negligence verdict,” Jim Doyle, Aug. 30, 2013

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