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Courts void survival damages in $10M spinal case

| Apr 23, 2020 | Injuries |

Emotions always run high in medical malpractice cases, and it sometimes leads to exorbitant amounts of money sued from professionals. Tack this high price tag on the risk of losing a medical license and a doctor’s financial future and career fall into erratic crosshairs.

As Insurance Journal reports, Pennsylvania courts have ruled to reassess a $10 million award for survival damages, citing precedence to find a figure more suitable with past justice.

The story

A Pennsylvania patient seen by the Laser Spine Institute in Philadelphia for surgery in 2018 and died hours later. Investigators attributed her death to a cocktail of opioids and depressants given during the operation.

The fallout

The patient’s husband sought damages, and the jury awarded him two $10 million awards: one for wrongful death and the other for survival damages. Laser Spine Institute appealed the second sum. A superior judge denied the appeal, but admitted that many previous survival damages did not exceed more than $2.5 million. Chester county courts have ordered a retrial as a result.

It is unknown when the retrial will happen, but it will settle the new amount.

Fairness in medicine

Every malpractice case against a professional is a risk against their license. A patient death is a result that no medical professional seeks, but it happens. When it does, it is absolutely vital to keep a fair and objective perspective. In this particular case, the jury’s awards were too high. In another, it might have been worse for the doctors on the case. Anyone in a similar situation may want to seek out attorney resources.

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