A Virginia man won a $500,000 jury award for medical malpractice and punitive sanctions after he produced a recording of mocking statements medical professionals made about him during surgery in April 2013. Anesthesiologist Tiffany Ingham was recorded calling the man, who wanted to stay anonymous, by derogatory terms. Dr. Ingham further stated that she wanted to punch him in the face after speaking to him in pre-op. She wasn’t alone in her comments as three other doctors joined in the name-calling, made fun of him and talked about ways to avoid him after the operation.
The plaintiff had recorded instructions for follow-up care after he underwent a colonoscopy. When he later listened to the recording, he heard the insulting comments. One of the remarks involved a genital infection. When an assistant touched the area, she joked that she might have become infected with a venereal disease. However, genitals are usually not examined during a colonoscopy. Dr. Ingham also noted that the patient suffered from hemorrhoids while in reality, she found none.
The lawsuit claimed the plaintiff struggled with mental suffering and an inability to focus with ongoing anxiety after the surgery. He reported that he went to other doctors so that he could receive a prescription for anti-anxiety medications. The lawsuit also listed defamation, medical malpractice, violation of Virginia health codes and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The award included $200,000 for medical malpractice, $100,000 for defamation and $200,000 in punitive damages.
One of the jurors, Farid Khairzada, explained that the plaintiff requested a $1.75 million award. However, the jurors felt that $500,000 was a compromise between those who thought he should receive that much and one man who thought he should not receive anything. They agreed to give him something so that no one else would endure this type of treatment.
According to an employee at the office where Dr. Ingham formerly worked, she is no longer employed there.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you might benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney. Our legal professionals can suggest options on how to handle your case.