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Jury awards $55 million in medical malpractice case

After 3 weeks of deliberations, a jury recently awarded $55 million dollars to a mother who brought a medical malpractice suit against her hospital.

The woman alleged that doctors negligently delayed in giving her an emergency caesarean section, which she believes caused her child to be born with developmental disorders. According to the woman's attorney, although hospital doctors did order an emergency C-section, they waited 2 hours to perform it. In the meantime, the woman claims she was in the second stage of labor, experiencing overwhelming contractions, and pushing involuntarily.

The hospital issued a statement the day after the judgment, denying that its staff or doctors had breached the applicable standard of care, and announcing its intention to appeal the judgment.

As this story illustrates, the stakes in a medical malpractice are substantial. Patients in Massachusetts and nationwide have a right to expect professional treatment from their doctors, and many juries agree that doctors should be held accountable for medical errors. For that reason, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you are the victim of negligent medical care.

To prevail on a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that a doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field. That usually requires the testimony of experts and a great deal of technical medical information. A lawyer can help you convey these complicated medical details in a manner that the jury will find easy to understand, in the event a case goes to trial. Even if the case settles before trial, a lawyer can assist with the interpretation and charting of medical documents, organizing them in such a way that they have maximum persuasive effect.

Source: WBAL-TV, "Jury Awards Family $55 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit," Phil Yacuboski, June 26, 2012

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