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Jury awards family $187,500 for misdiagnosis

Everyday across the United States, including Maryland, the victims of medical mistakes wage war against the system and the professionals that failed them. In some cases, the victims are victorious and in others they are not. To succeed in such a lawsuit the key is to have a complete picture of the facts and an attorney who can effectively present them to a jury. The following is the story of one successful case involving the failure to diagnose a rare disorder that led to one woman's tragic end.

A jury awarded $187,500 in damages to the estate of a 36-year-old Montana woman following the woman's untimely death. According to reports, the woman suffered from a rare blood disorder that caused fatal blood clotting. Despite seeking medical attention, the hospital failed to diagnose the disorder. Upset by the hospital's negligence, the family sought compensation for the death, suing the hospital for negligent handling of the woman's case.

The woman died in 2006 following the mishap at the facility, but the matter only recently came before a jury. Following a two-week trial the jury returned with the verdict. The jury, agreeing with the family, found that the hospital was liable for negligence for their failure to diagnose the blood disorder. The jury then awarded the family of the victim $1 million for economic loss and an additional $880,000 for emotional damages.

Ultimately, the hospital will only be held liable for $187,000 in damages. The reasons are twofold. First, under Montana law emotional damages are capped at $250,000, reducing the total possible award to $1.25 million. Second, the jury found that with the rare disorder the woman only had a 15 percent chance to survive. Using that as their basis, the court awarded the family 15 percent of the $1.25 million, or $187,000 in damages.

Source: Missoulian, "Jury awards $187K in lawsuit over Butte woman's death from undiagnosed blood disorder," Associated Press, July 29, 2012

This situation and others like it are the type our firm handles. If you'd like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Greenbelt medical malpractice, failure to diagnose page.

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