Girardi | Keese

Man wins medical malpractice lawsuit after wife's death

Medical malpractice lawsuits come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from failure to diagnose to surgical errors and other mistakes. Our California readers may not know many things about South Dakota, but this medical malpractice lawsuit pertains to people from one side of the country to the other.

A 72-year-old man was awarded $776,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a local surgeon. In August, at the age of 55, the man's wife died of liver disease. The woman had initiated the lawsuit against the surgeon in 2011.

Despite the fact that the woman spent the last few months of her life in a nursing home being treated for Lou Gehrig's disease, it was when the surgeon removed her gallbladder in December 2010 that her health took a turn for the worse.

When hospitalized in May 2011 due to a lack of liver function, it was found that surgical staples were preventing the flow of bile from her liver to her digestive system. According to the couple's legal team, the staples were located in the wrong place. Although another surgeon removed the staples in 2011, at that point, it was too late as the damage was already done.

This story shows that any type of surgery, regardless of how complex or simple it may be, needs to be approached with caution. In this case, a surgeon made an error that led to severe health concerns for the woman.

Speaking with a medical malpractice attorney is often times the first step in learning more about how to deal with such a situation. If you find yourself in this position, you may benefit from the advice of a legal professional.

Source: Rapid City Journal, "Jury awards Interior man $776,000 in medical malpractice lawsuit" Andrea J. Cook, Jan. 19, 2014

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