October 18, 2017
In August 2017, a family won what might be the largest wrongful-death lawsuit for medical malpractice in Minnesota after a jury awarded them $20 million when a woman died on Aug. 26, 2013, days after giving birth.
After the birth of her baby, the mother went home but then complained of nausea and fever and returned to the hospital. Test results later confirmed that she suffered from sepsis. However, a nurse practitioner ignored her test results and released her. Ignoring classic symptoms of the disease, the nurse practitioner instead diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection. However, she had no signs of a UTI. Hours later, she grew worse, collapsed and lost consciousness. She came back to the hospital 12 hours later. Although she was readmitted to the hospital and underwent a complete hysterectomy, she succumbed to the disease and passed away two days later.
The defendant’s attorneys disagree with the verdict but have not reached a decision as to if they will appeal. Although they admitted that the plaintiff was not treated properly while at the hospital, the legal team blamed other medical staff at the facility.
The mother’s survivors include her husband and son, just six days old when she died. Her husband did not comment on the verdict, but the family attorney stated that the family feels that they have received justice.
Sepsis is commonly misdiagnosed, resulting in about one in three deaths in hospitals across the country, according to one 2014 study. Additionally, many medical malpractice claims involving hospitals center on sepsis. As a result, Minnesota now has standards for testing for sepsis based on blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. One of the reasons for this is because patients often do not display specific symptoms but only complain of general feelings of malaise or weakness.
If you believe that you or a loved one suffered physical loss due to the negligence of a medical professional or a care facility, you will need legal counsel. Our attorneys can protect your rights and provide you with recommendations on how to proceed.