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Multi-million dollar surgical errors verdict upheld

The parents of a 4-year-old boy filed a lawsuit against a hospital after he went through a botched operation. Sometimes, Maryland patients are injured due to surgical errors. Though this incident occurred in a northwestern state, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $12 million.

Back in 2009, the boy underwent an operation performed, and the doctors accidentally clipped the wrong blood vessels. Due to that mistake, the boy required a liver transplant in order to save his life. The jury's award has not come without a fight, and the hospital subsequently requested that the amount to be reduced to conform to a $3 million medical liability cap in that state. It was argued that, under common law, the physician would have been immune from liability for acts of discretion that involved the exercise of his judgment as a medical professional.

In further requesting a reduction of the amount awarded, it was argued that the boy's imminent healthcare expenses would already be covered under the Affordable Care Act. The family's attorney disputed those claims and stated that the physician's actions resulted in the wrong blood vessels being cut accidentally. The judge agreed and upheld the jury's original decision.

Surgical errors can cause debilitating injuries with lifelong consequences or even death. Even after doctors have attempted to remedy the unfortunate events through emergency surgeries or organ transplants, the outcome for injured patients can be long-term. Maryland patients who have suffered severe or permanent injuries due to a medical mistake can exercise their right to pursue financial redress through a medical malpractice claim.

Source:, OHSU lawsuit: Judge retains jury's $12 million verdict, despite hospital's push to reduce award, Helen Jung, Nov. 22, 2013

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