Newsday reports that a New York jury awarded a woman $10.7 million in a medical malpractice case against a hospital in Queens. The woman became partially paralyzed after waiting two hours for a brain scan at a Queens hospital. The jury found the woman was cleared for a brain scan two hours before she got one. The purpose of the test was intended to check for bleeding.
The Plaintiff lapsed into a coma in the emergency room less than an hour after the scan. The Plaintiff is now in a wheelchair.
New York’s brand of tort reform caps the fees of New York medical malpractice lawyers as opposed to the award to the malpractice victim. In the end, the real loser is medical malpractice victims because lawyers will not take their case because risking potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars is not worth the risk (most medical malpractice lawyers front the costs and the victim is not obligated to pay the monies back if there is no recovery). But this case certainly did not fall into that category and is one of the few that actually meets the goals of this otherwise warped New York medical malpractice statute.
Jurors found New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens was negligent in caring for Candida Diego after she fractured her skull in a fall in September 2004. A spokeswoman says the hospital doesn’t believe it is liable for the 71-year-old’s condition and is appealing the Oct. 3 decision awarding her $10.7 million.