Jury Issues $23M Medical Malpractice Verdict Against University of Florida Over Surgery That Left Woman with Brain Damage

More than five years after Lanette Gervato suffered brain damage after undergoing surgery to treat a non-bleeding brain aneurysm, a jury has awarded a $23 million Florida medical malpractice verdict to a woman for the permanent brain injuries that she sustained during the botched procedure that left her partially paralyzed, impaired her vision, and caused her to suffer other medical issues. The defendant of the case is the University of Florida.

Gervato was 35 when she sought medical attention at UF’s Shands Teaching Hospital for unexplained headaches. A neurosurgeon operated on her and inserted coils into the aneurysm. Unfortunately, according to her Miami medical malpractice attorneys, the medical team perforated an artery in her brain during the surgery. Gervato’s Florida brain injury lawsuit claims that even though nurse Rebecca Boone noticed that Gervato displayed symptoms consistent with a post-operative stroke, she kept Gervato on the drug Heparin, which is a blood thinner. Boone has settled the Florida nursing negligence case against her for $1 million.

Gervato’s Miami injury lawyers contend that the brain damage she suffers continues to cause her pain and affect her reasoning. She also has been hospitalized 10 times because of infections, her husband had to give up his job to take care of her, and her kids have had to move in with other relatives.

However, because UF has sovereign immunity status, it is not clear how much of the Florida surgical malpractice award Gervato’s family will actually receive. Florida lawmakers would have to pass a bill allowing for an award amount above $200,000.

Florida Surgical Malpractice
Surgical errors can cause serious health complications for a patient. Some examples of surgical mistakes:

• Transplant errors
• Errors during post-operative care
• Failure to properly monitor patients’ vitals
• Operating on or removing the wrong body part or organ
• Leaving a foreign object inside a patient
• Anesthesia mistakes
• Using unsanitary medical equipment

Jurors award $23 million in suit against UF, Herald-Tribune, December 24, 2010
Jury Awards Florida Woman $23 Million in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Justice News Flash, January 6, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Shands at the University of Florida

Brain Aneuryism, Mercy Cancer