Practicing medicine is not an exact science. However, patients in Texas and across the country should be able to expect that doctors take their concerns seriously and attempt to seek a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, the family of one out-of-state man claims that their loved one died as a result of hospital negligence. A court ruled in their favor in the wrongful death lawsuit in 2012; that ruling has recently been upheld following an appeal.
The case involves a 39-year-old man who died in 1999. According to reports, the man, who was a paraplegic, went to the hospital one evening in April. He complained of severe pain, nausea and vomiting, among other symptoms. He was initially admitted, but released several hours later. After an ambulance service was unable to find a loved one who felt equipped to care for him, hospital staff took him to a motel in a wheelchair and paid for him to stay.
However, workers at the hotel became concerned when they saw the man vomiting blood the next morning. He was readmitted to the hospital, but released again later that day. When he was released, hospital workers reportedly warned him that if he returned, they would have him arrested. Although his condition did not improve and family members urged him to return to the hospital, he refused out of fear of being arrested. Unfortunately, he died later that day.
Family members claim that it was negligence that led to his death, but the hospital disagrees. A jury ruled in favor of the family in 2005, awarding his estate $1.5 million. An appeal resulted in a $1.45 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff. A second appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court resulted in the 2012 ruling being upheld. The hospital continues to claim that it is not guilty of any wrongdoing in the man's death.
Because of the potential consequences of mistakes made by medical care professionals, they must do everything in their power to ensure that decisions are made that are in the best interests of patients. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Texas. In cases such as this one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best option to ensure that hospitals are held responsible for such negligence. Consultation service from Maloney law is free. Contact us today to get started.
Source: kentucky.com, "Court upholds $1.45M award against St. Joseph Hospital", Morgan Eads, May 6, 2016