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Jury awards $6.7 million in fatal medical malpractice case

A jury has awarded $6.7 million dollars to the widow of a man who they determined died as a result of negligence on the part of the hospital and its doctors. The medical malpractice case arose from the 2005 death of a man who was treated at the hospital after sustaining injuries in an ATV accident.

According to local news reports, the man was hurt when he rolled his ATV. He was taken to the hospital suffering from broken ribs and other injuries. The emergency room doctors also ordered a CT scan which revealed indications of internal bleeding. The complaint in the case maintained that the doctors did not follow up to investigate or treat the internal bleeding and that this eventually led to his death.

The hospital's doctors apparently did not order any additional X-rays to monitor the condition of the internal bleeding. The complaint says that after 36 hours in the hospital, the internal bleeding led to the collapse of one his lungs. Because of the lack of oxygen he suffered a massive heart attack which was the ultimate cause of his death. He died on his 44th birthday.

The hospital maintains that the man died as a result of an unpredictable failure of one of his arteries. The jury however was nearly unanimous in its decision that the hospital and doctors were negligent with eight of nine jurors concurring in the verdict.

The majority of the jury award was attributed to loss of companionship and emotional distress, with lesser amounts for economic support and pain and suffering.

Source: Bangor Daily News "Jury awards widow $6.7 million in medical malpractice lawsuit" Judy Harrison, June 14, 2011

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