New York Woman Wins $1.25 Million in Hospital Negligence Lawsuit

Shay Morrigan | March 19th, 2013

New York Medical Malpractice AttorneyA New York woman recently won $1.25 million in damages for her hospital negligence lawsuit. She had brought claims against the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica and Dr.Timothy Page for failing to respond appropriately to her ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke is one that is caused by a blood clot.

The civil jury reached their verdict after four hours deliberation, awarding damages for past medical expenses, pain and suffering. The defendants stated they acted appropriately, considering the woman was a minor at the time of the incident.

Details of the hospital negligence lawsuit

Abigail Smith, a resident of Waterville, was involved in a play rehearsal when she collapsed at her high school on March 11, 2007. She was only sixteen years old at the time. She was rushed to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, where doctors treated her, but did not consult with a neurologist until seven hours later.

Smith’s New York medical malpractice attorney claimed that doctors should have immediately administered the clot-busting drug t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator). There is a small window of time during which this drug can be given to help reduce the side effects of a stroke.

The drug t-PA is approved by the FDA to treat individuals who are suffering an ischemic stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, t-PA restores blood flow by dissolving the blood clot, and can help patients recover more fully. The medicine works best when given right away, and can also help prevent disability. If it is given too late, however, it fails to provide benefits.

New York medical malpractice attorney fights for victim’s rights

Smith’s New York medical malpractice attorney claimed that doctors should have given Smith t-PA right away. Instead, she now continues to suffer from significant speech, physical and other deficits. She has had to undergo extensive therapy to help regain her speech and physical function.

The defendants argued that the situation wasn’t so clear-cut, as Smith was only 16 years old. The FDA has approved t-PA for use in adults, but not in children. Smith’s attorney countered that though his client may not have reached the age of 18, she was still “physiologically” an adult, and should have been given the drug immediately upon her arrival at the hospital.

Injured patients may seek medical malpractice settlements or jury awards

According to a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers, for every four patients who die in a hospital ICU, one suffers a misdiagnosis near the time of death. In addition, when an ICU patient dies, there is an eight percent chance a diagnosis error caused or contributed to the death.

RightDiagnosis.com reports that the majority of medical negligence lawsuits involving treatment in the emergency department involve delayed treatment, such as that suffered by Smith. Other studies have reported that it is relatively common for serious conditions such as heart attack and stroke to be misdiagnosed in emergency care.

Those who have suffered from these types of misdiagnoses may request medical malpractice settlements or jury awards in a hospital negligence lawsuit.

A New York medical malpractice attorney can help

If you or someone you love was a victim of a misdiagnosis or medical mistake in the hospital, you may benefit from a free consultation with a New York medical malpractice attorney at The Sanders Firm. We can review the facts of your case and outline your options for pursuing damages in court. There is no risk to you, as we receive no money unless we win or settle your case. Call today at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.