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Maryland Jury Awards $2 Million-Plus Med. Malpractice Award

A major medical malpractice award recently issued from a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury, with the plaintiff's attorney stating that the jury "understood this case" and "absolutely did the right thing."

On August 1, 2006, Yesenia Rivera, then a 24-year-old Silver Springs resident, went to the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a kidney stone and sent home with pain medication. Two days later, she returned in more pain and told doctors she had just been in the same emergency room for a kidney stone.

The doctors, though, decided that the pain was being caused by either a gallbladder problem or ruptured pregnancy. For several hours, a septic infection went unnoticed, and 12 hours passed before a proper diagnosis was made and a surgeon brought in to remove the kidney blockage.

Because of the infection and delay, gangrene set in and part of Rivera's left leg and right foot had to be amputated. Additionally, the tips on most of her fingers fell off.

The jury award was for $2.35 million in damages. Neither of the two doctors named in the lawsuit had been the subject of any disciplinary action within the past 10 years. Despite the verdict, a hospital spokesperson stated that its internal investigation of the matter found that the physicians "delivered care that is consistent with our hospital's commitment to quality and patient safety."

Rivera, now 28 and a stay-at-home mom, uses prosthetics and can no longer work.
 
Related Resource: www.washingtonpost.com "Md. Woman wins $2.35 million in malpractice case" August 11, 2010

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