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Major settlement awarded after patient suffers serious injury

When patients are ill or injured, they often rely on medical care professionals to determine the proper course of treatment. While this usually helps the patient fully recover, if errors are made, this could put the patient in an even worse condition.

A man who entered the hospital with what appeared to be flu-like symptoms in 2012 may be at the final legal stages of a significant medical ordeal. California residents may be interested to know that the patient has recently received a $9.1 million settlement following what he alleges were major surgical errors.

The former auto mechanic, now age 51, went to the North Memorial Medical Center in Minnesota in 2012 experiencing flu-like symptoms. He was treated with fluids for dehydration initially. Upon further examination, doctors determined that the patient had a perforated bowel. They recommended surgery, and subsequently moved forward with the surgery.

Pursuant to the plaintiff's lawsuit, the treatment for the plaintiff's dehydration was stopped when the patient began receiving anesthesia approximately an hour before surgery began. This course of medical treatment led to a drop in the patient's blood pressure and, consequently, an inadequate blood flow to the patient's spinal cord. It is this course of treatment, the discontinuation of treatment for dehydration as determined by the anesthesiologist, that the plaintiff alleges was negligent.

Tragically, following the surgery, the patient emerged paralyzed and with spinal cord damage. He lost the use of his legs and was unable to walk. Through intensive therapy, the plaintiff did regain some mobility in his legs, allowing him to walk limited distances with a walker. However, the funding he had for this course of treatment ran out and he could not afford to continue with it.

Though the compensation awarded in this settlement will not reverse the medical damage caused to the plaintiff or the trauma he has experienced, the funds obtained from the lawsuit may allow him to obtain treatment and equipment he needs currently and in the future. He is seeking to resume therapy to improve his mobility and also to replace his broken wheelchair.

Victims of medical malpractice should understand what options are available to him or her. This could help harmed patients protect their rights and interest. Additionally, this could help offset the financial burdens caused by added medical costs and even permanent or temporary disabilities.

Source: postbulletin.com, "Mechanic wins $9.1 million in medical malpractice lawsuit", Oct. 19, 2015

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