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Jury awards $26M in medical malpractice neck surgery case

A jury for a recent lawsuit in a state neighboring Tennessee recently found in favor of the plaintiff, but even the $26 million in damages awarded are likely small consolation in the wake of the difficulties the woman has suffered. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the hospital where the plaintiff's neck surgery took place approximately five years ago. Unfortunately, between the surgical procedure itself and the demonstrably poor follow-up care she received, the woman is now disabled.

The incident all started in Oct. 2012 when, following a 5k run, the plaintiff needed to undergo a common neck fusion surgery at St. Francis Hospital. Records indicate that the operation was believed to have gone well at the time, but the day following the procedure, the patient found herself unable to swallow. When she returned to the hospital, tests revealed what appeared to be a large bubble perched atop the woman's windpipe. It was believed to be the cause of her difficulty swallowing.

However, because the woman had not yet complained of any trouble with breathing, instead of treating her, physicians decided to send her home. Her swallowing issue never resolved, and to make matters worth, more medical difficulties began to arise. She returned to the emergency room the next day, this time with additional complaints about pain and swelling and a complete inability to swallow  -- even her own saliva. But instead of rushing to treat the patient, doctors and hospital staff did not even see her for approximately six hours, despite hospital policy limiting patient waiting time to two hours.

As a result, the woman is now blind and restricted to a wheelchair, with only a very limited ability to use her legs and hands. She also requires constant care and supervision, and will surely have to rely on others for this role, as her personal life also suffered negatively as a result of the medical malpractice, according to reports. While the $26 million she was awarded in damages cannot restore her health, it can at least help ensure she can afford the ongoing care she will likely require for the rest of her life. When such tragedies strike in Tennessee, residents can turn to medical malpractice professionals in the Clarksville area for assistance in fighting for just compensation.

Source:, "St. Francis to pay $26M in medical malpractice suit", Dec. 11, 2017

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