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State sees record medical malpractice award

As regular readers of our Huntington legal issues blog know well, when there is a significant award in a lawsuit, it is inevitably the result of significant damage. Nowhere is this more apparent than in medical malpractice litigation.

We read recently of a man who is to receive $13 million; the largest medical malpractice judgment in South Dakota history. The award by a federal judge was entered after the doctor did not defend himself in court.

The victim of malpractice was just 21 years old when the doctor performed on him heart valve replacement surgery. During the late 2010 operation, air bubbles got into the man's arteries and then made their way to his brain. The result: severe brain damage.

The lawsuit argued that the doctor was not competent to perform the surgery and that the hospital was duty bound to provide a competent surgeon. The facility had previously settled with the victim's attorney, as had other doctors involved in the matter.

The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners determined in 2014 that the doctor had failed to disclose other malpractice lawsuits when he applied to practice in the state.

South Dakota is not considered a state friendly to patients who suffer damage at the hands of a negligent physician or hospital. A newspaper article from there said most medical malpractice cases never make it to court and that those cases that do make it "always result in defense verdicts."

Cases can be very difficult in West Virginia as well. But with the help of an experienced, skilled attorney, you and your family can fight for justice and full compensation for damages.

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