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Jury rules that medication errors caused woman's death

When people in Texas require medical treatment, they trust that the medical care facility will provide proper care. Unfortunately, some families learn that their loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice. In one out-of-state case, the family of a patient alleges that medication errors were fatal. A jury has recently awarded $20 million as a result.

The case centered around a woman's stay in a rehabilitation facility in 2011. The woman was reportedly expected to spend approximately two weeks in the facility and then stay at her daughter's house. Unfortunately, the patient was discovered unresponsive at approximately 4:40 a.m. one morning near the end of her stay.  

She was transported to a hospital where two separate tests, administered eight hours apart, indicated that the woman had opiates in her system. Court papers indicated that the rehabilitation facility was given clear instructions about the woman's allergy to opiates when she was admitted. The hospital was able to stabilize her condition, and she was released to her daughter's home. Unfortunately, the daughter asserts that the drugs caused severe damage and resulted in her mother's death several months later.

Attorneys for the rehabilitation center argued that the plaintiff could not prove that the woman's death was caused by its negligence, claiming that there was no proof of when or how much opiates were administered. However, the plaintiff countered that because the woman was solely in the care of the rehabilitation facility at the time the drug administration had to have occurred, the facility is responsible. A jury recently agreed with the plaintiff's argument, awarding a verdict of $20 million against the facility.

As people in Texas likely know, it is difficult to place a monetary value on a person's life. However, lawsuits filed as a result of medical malpractice, including doctor and medication errors, often force medical facilities to closely examine how they are run and make necessary changes. These changes often provide protections to other patients by preventing similar negligence from occurring in the future. Consultation service from the Maloney Lawyers is free. Contact us today to get started. 

Source: gadsdentimes.com, "Etowah jury returns $20 million verdict in medical malpractice case", Donna Thornton, May 19, 2016

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