Parents Win $30 Million in Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The parents of a young woman who died of septic shock recently won a $30 million judgment in a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors they alleged were negligent in treating an ulcer. West Palm Beach Florida medical malpractice lawsuit

While such sizable damage awards are the exception in the Florida medical malpractice lawsuit landscape, part of what this case came down to was the fact that this young woman’s condition went untreated for so long – despite being known.

We understand as West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys that nothing is going to bring back a loved one who’s been lost as a result of medical negligence. But we are committed to fighting tirelessly for accountability on behalf of our clients – even if it takes nearly a decade, as this case did.

According to court records and media reports, this young woman was admitted to a hospital in Tampa with severe pain, stemming from an ulcer in her small intestine. She was discharged to a long-term care facility shortly thereafter, with orders that she was to undergo an endoscopy for that ulcer within a couple weeks. But the doctors at the long-term acute care facility never followed through with those orders. The patient continued to be treated for pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting — symptoms that were at least partially caused by a drug she was prescribed, according to plaintiffs. The source of that pain, however, went untreated. Eventually, after two months, the ulcer perforated the wall of the small intestine, resulting in sepsis, a blood infection. At one point, she was sent to a nearby hospital for a brain scan, but that imaging result turned up no results – because the issue was the intestine perforation and sepsis. After days enduring what her parents described as agonizing pain, she died of septic shock. She was just 23-years-old.

It’s worth noting that had this woman been just 2 years older, Florida’s so-called “free kill” law would have barred her parents from any legal action at all. As it stands, if a patient is over the age of 25, unmarried, and without minor children under the age of 25, there is no survivor qualified to sue if they die as a result of medical malpractice. There have been efforts to repeal this law as recently as this year, but so far, they’ve been unsuccessful.

No parent should have to bury a child. A sudden death is made all the more painful when you know it didn’t have to happen this way.

As a West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney can explain, the question in these cases is not simply whether a patient suffered a poor outcome. Instead, we must examine whether the health care professional and their team fell short of the “standard of care.”

As outlined in F.S. 766.102 (part of Florida’s medical malpractice law), is the level of care and treatment that a reasonably competent healthcare professional in the same field would provide under similar circumstances. As part of the pre-suit requisites plaintiffs must meet before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, they must produce an affidavit from a medical expert (someone similarly situated to the defendant) willing to testify that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care.

If a healthcare provider fails to meet this standard AND a patient suffers harm as a result, then it is the basis for a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of medical negligence in South Florida, our dedicated team of killed injury and wrongful death lawyers in West Palm Beach can review the facts of your case and help you decide your next step.

Contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys at Halberg & Fogg PLLC by calling toll-free at 1-877-425-2374. Serving West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers/ Naples. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Tampa doctors must pay $30 million after woman, 23, died from untreated ulcer, Feb. 15, 2024, By Emily Wunderlich and Christopher O’Donnell, Tampa Bay Times

More Blog Entries:

Doctors Who Paid Big Medical Malpractice Settlements Now Decide Insurer-Approved Care, March 13, 2024, West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog

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